sport

Lambert praise for Villa fans

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert praised the home support as they roared his side on to a 3-1 victory over Hull City to banish the threat of relegation.

Lambert has been roundly criticised by sections of the Villa support but the fans were in good voice as they backed their side en route to the three points they needed to all-but guarantee Premier League safety.

And after watching Andreas Weimann inspire Villa to victory, Lambert said: "They (the fans) were excellent but I had a feeling they would be. They played a huge part in our win.

"Sometimes you get harshly criticised here; they are all young lads learning their trade but I thought the fans were excellent today.

Lambert added: "It is a big, big club with a massive fan base and you've got to give them something. I knew this was going to be a hard game but I thought we were excellent. They came with great enthusiasm for the game. They were fantastic."

The Villa boss was also pleased with the efforts of his young team who were quickly ahead through Ashley Westwood before seeing an own goal by substitute Jordan Bowery - on in place of the injured Gabby Agbonlahor - peg them back.

But Weimann's double strike just before half-time banished any nerves and saw him earn the plaudits of his boss.

Lambert said: "They were two great headers. I thought (Nathan) Baker done great to win the first headers but Weimann is a natural finisher. We have lost big players like (Christian) Benteke but Andy has come up trumps.

"I've been involved in some really big games but that's right up there with them. If they can come through that then they can come through most things."