Paul Lambert has been clearly irked by the officiating in today's game, and he hasn't glossed over it.
Speaking to the Official Site after the 5-0 drubbing, Lambert believes we had the rug pulled from under us with the penalty decisions and that cost us any chance of getting anything from the game.
'That is never a handball, nowhere near. How he's called that I don't know. It was absolutely ridiculous, it's not touched his hand, it's not deviated in its flight whatsoever. There were no appeals from City because it came off the City player's head, I have watched it back. How he can call that at an important point in the game? It's the wrong decision. Nobody appealed, Bizarre! I'm not happy about it. If we are asked to come and speak to you, then sometimes so should they. I just think that was a wrong decision.'
As for the second penalty award, he still wasn't happy:
'He (Bannan) lost his footing, I can understand why he gave it but Barry has put his hand on the ground and it's a natural, human reaction to do that. But the way the linesman was performing I didn't have a clue what he was going to flag for.'
As for the game itself, the disappointment of the scoreline and dropping into the bottom 3 tonight, Lambert was adamant that we would bounce back:
'This won't hamper our progress, we will bounce back strongly. The last few weeks the lads have given it everything. Hart made some world class saves to keep it 0-0, we had some chance, but I thought that decision was a massive call and he got it wrong. We were still in the game, that's the point.'
Now I haven't seen this game, so I can't really comment on the decisions, but going off the match thread the first decision was demonstrably wrong, whereas the second could've been called either way and was just one of those things.
But nobody really expected anything from today, so it's difficult to get too worked up about it. We were playing Manchester City afterall, so calls for Lambert's head, the board again, dismissing every player on our books and putting bets on for relegation are a bit over the top.
We know we're in a sticky part of the fixture list, but if we keep performing as we have done we'll win more than we lose. This was never going to happen overnight, but whilst nobody got too carried away after the United game, neither should anyone get carried away after the City game.
There are games coming up that are more than winnable, so focus on them, and there are plenty of games left to push ourselves up the table or at least create a buffer between us and three below. The table is tight, and any run of three games will make a dramatic difference.
We have to roll with the punches this season, we all knew that, but we are playing better than we were at the start of the season, things are clicking and again this was Manchester City, let's see what happens as a far better judge of our progress so far will be the games starting from Reading through to Chelsea.
City Forum Thread.
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Manager Tim Sherwood has spoken of his disappointment - and shouldered the blame - for today's one nil loss to Stoke City.
All the stats from Aston Villa (0) vs (1) Stoke, Villa Park, 3/10/15 Att: 33,189
Statistics, damn lies and Aston Villa..
Bit of a mix and match today from manager Tim Sherwood's pre Stoke press conference.
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