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Lambert ready for relegation battle

29 December 2012 23:40

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says his side are in an 'absolute fight' after shipping a 15th goal in three games in a 3-0 loss to Wigan.

Lambert took the full brunt of responsibility for another dismal English Premier League loss at Villa Park, a result that leaves the Midlands side just a point above the relegation zone.

But Lambert said January signings were not a priority for his beleaguered young side, who are without as many as seven important players.

"No. The main thing is to digest what has happened here at the minute and we will see what happens," Lambert said.

"You have got to try and lift the players. We have got a lot of players out and I'm not so sure some are going to come back (soon). It's a tough time. You have to hang in.

"If we didn't know we were in an absolute fight, (we do now). We are certainly in one, that's for sure."

Lambert admitted to having words with his side after the final whistle but accepted full responsibility for a third straight loss.

"It is private what I said (after the final whistle)," he said.

"I can't fault the lads for effort. It is my responsibility. I am the manager so I take responsibility."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was delighted with his side's comprehensive display and the continued emergence of goal scorer Arouna Kone since his off-season move from Levante.

"In terms of the performance I thought it was similar to what we showed against Everton and Arsenal in the last two games," Martinez said.

"We were very clinical in both boxes and defended well, keeping (Villa striker) Christian Benteke quiet."

Ivorian Kone has now scored six goals in 20 games and Martinez believes he will provide valuable experience as Wigan attempt to avoid the drop.

"The know-how is important and the likes of Kone and (Ivan) Ramis are good examples how they have adapted. Being able to play in Germany and Spain has helped them a great deal," he said.

"I was really impressed with Kone and I think he could have scored another couple of goals but it will have boosted his confidence."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0

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