Football - Lambert hoping for more goals

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is hoping Gabriel Agbonlahor can get back on the goal trail after finally breaking his duck this season.

PA Sport Report

Plagued with niggly injuries so far this campaign, Agbonlahor grabbed his first goal in seven months in Wednesday's 3-2 win at Southampton.

After finishing last season by scoring eight goals in 14 Barclays Premier League matches to help stave off the threat of relegation, Lambert knows exactly what Agbonlahor is capable of.

With Christian Benteke currently finding goals hard to come by, which resulted in him being dropped from the starting line-up for the match at St Mary's Stadium, Lambert needs the likes of Agbonlahor to chip in.

"I hope he can score a few more because he has all the attributes to do that," said Lambert.

"If he can add more goals to his game then it would be a benefit to everybody."

Lambert knows when the 27-year-old is fit he has the pace to burn off any defender, which is an invaluable asset if Agbonlahor is then to go on and finish.

"If he gets a run and a head start on you, then I'm not so sure many people would catch him," added Lambert.

"When you have that speed and power then anything is possible, and he is a strong, strong lad, he really is a powerful boy.

"Nobody likes playing against speed. In the back of your mind as a defender, when somebody against you is really quick, it plants a seed of doubt. Do you go tight or try and beat them in a race?

"As I say, if he gets a run then you need to bring him down because I don't think he can be caught."

It was Fabian Delph who finished off the Saints with a stunning late strike for his first league goal for Villa.

Like Agbonlahor, Lambert is further hoping Delph can also use that as a spur, adding: "His general game, over the course of this year, has been extremely high.

"But if he can also add more goals it will boost him even further, it would be really healthy for him."

Whether either can force their way into England manager Roy Hodgson's plans for the World Cup in Brazil next month is a long shot.

Lambert, though, is not ruling out the possibility as he said: "That will be for the England manager to decide.

"The only thing they can do is to keep doing what they are doing, playing as well as they can and then the decision will be somebody else's."

For Sunday's trip to Fulham Lambert faces defensive issues as captain Ron Vlaar is doubtful with a calf injury along with Antonio Luna who has a groin problem.

Lambert must also decide whether to recall Benteke to the side given fellow striker Libor Kozak also netted against the Saints in midweek.

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