Premier League

Lambert critical of sackings

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Fri, 15 Mar 2013 16:32:00

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara is facing a selection crisis ahead of Sunday's Tayside derby clash with Dundee at Tannadice.

McNamara may have to throw in some of his younger squad players with a potential six first-team players set to miss out.

Midfielders John Rankin and Willo Flood are suspended and have joined long-term injury absentees Johnny Russell and Gavin Gunning on the sidelines.

And there are also concerns over the fitness of Terrors skipper Jon Daly and defender Brian McLean, who are nursing groin and hamstring problems respectively.

Dark Blues boss Barry Smith is set to hand a debut to Steve Simonsen, after he signed a short-term deal with the club earlier this week.

The former Everton and Stoke goalkeeper will deputise for Rab Douglas, who sits out the match with a thigh injury.

Midfielders Stephen O'Donnell, Mark Kerr (both knee) and Jamie McCluskey (Achilles) are all still missing.

Dundee United have won both the Tayside derbies in the SPL this season 3-0 and also won the Scottish Cup clash at Dens Park earlier this month 2-1.

Adkins was dismissed at Southampton last month despite back-to-back promotions and steering the club away from the relegation zone in their first season back in the Premier League.

McDermott was axed from Reading after Villa's 2-1 win over the Royals last weekend, despite having led the club to promotion from the Championship last year.

Lambert feels both men had produced good enough results on the pitch to stay in their jobs, but believes other factors have been taken into consideration.

"You never like to see anyone lose their job. People used to say it's a results business. It's not really anymore," said Lambert.

"If people don't like your face, or like what you are doing...

"Brian took Reading up, made them all the money and then loses his job.

"If you are telling me someone gets you out of the Championship and makes your club millions and then seven months later he loses his job, it doesn't bode well.

"It's the same with Nigel at Southampton. It doesn't really have to be based on results anymore.

"They are in an absolutely healthier position than they were two years and he has contributed a massive part to that."

Villa take on QPR on Saturday knowing a victory ould push the big-spending Londoners closer to relegation.

Harry Redknapp's position at Loftus Road seems secure enough after presiding over an upturn in form that has given the club hope of beating the drop, but Lambert would approach the match in exactly the same way even if that were not the case.

"You've got to be ruthless but you also know how other people feel because you know what it is like yourself," he said.

"Harry Redknapp is a brilliant manager, a good guy, but we have to win for our own sake."

Reflecting on the unique pressures of being a manager, he added: "Football is like that. You just never know what is around the corner. You just have to focus on your job and let other people decide that.

"You've just got to handle the pressure. It is not something I lie and worry about every night.

"You do the best you can do and what happens, happens."

Villa go into tomorrow's game full of confidence after a run of improved performances rekindled hopes of prolonging their stay in the top flight.

"It's a big game, so was last week," Lambert said.

"It's the same pressure, but I can see the lads are playing well and with a lot of confidence.

"We know only one way to play, is go and try and win. We will have a brilliant crowd tomorrow which will be right behind us.

"They will drive us on and the onus is on the home team to make the running."

Lambert has no fresh injury worries but midfielder Fabian Delph is again ruled out through suspension after picking up 10 bookings.

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