Paul Lambert ready for Aston Villa's vital Monday meeting with Sunderland
Paul Lambert is not disheartened by the defeat at Manchester United as he looks to get Aston Villa back on track.
Last Updated: 29/04/13 7:38pm
Most of Villa's main rivals will all have played by the time they return to action on Monday night, when it is one of those fellow strugglers - Sunderland - who are the visitors to Villa Park for a match that could go a long way to deciding both team's seasons.
Victory will pull Villa level with their opponents, who have seen an upward spike in form since Paolo Di Canio took over as manager, and Lambert says that provides even more in the way of an incentive.
Lambert said: "We have to win. The next four games are massive games but we also know if we win on Monday then you pull Sunderland right back in as well.
"There's only three points in it. We're at home. We'd rather be at home than going away, that's for sure. You'll have the crowd behind you, you'll have everything behind you.
"The thing for myself is we're playing well enough, we're creating chances. It would be different if I was going into that game and we weren't playing well or creating, then it becomes a big thing."
Monday proved to be a less than ideal time to visit Old Trafford but Lambert had no complaints about the 3-0 defeat as United clinched the Premier League title, with his only regret being their failure to prevent United scoring three times inside 33 minutes.
He said: "I don't think it mattered when we went there or what happened between Tottenham and Manchester City. It was always going to be tough, regardless of what the occasion was going to be.
"I think the only difference was the crowd came with that vibrancy knowing that if they could beat us then (they would win the title), that gave them a lift, but it was always going to be tough going there.
"We were up against the champions-elect. One thing going to Old Trafford is you have to try to stay in the game as long as you can and try and create chances.
"We created chances to score, it never materialised, but sometimes you have to hold your hand up - the second goal was fabulous, you could have had three goalkeepers in there and they wouldn't have saved that.
"They're different goals. The technique Van Persie's shown with the ball coming over the shoulder, you've got to hold your hands up and say it's an absolute wonder strike.
"Matty's (Lowton) strike at Stoke, with the magnitude of the game and the moment of it, and the technique of it. They're two different types of goal but the execution of the two of them was first class."