x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Paul Lambert safe at Aston Villa; Michu 'living a dream' with Swansea

Paul Lambert appears safe at Aston Villa despite the Capital One Cup loss to Bradford, and Michu gives Swansea City a boost by extending his contract.

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner believes that Paul Lambert, above, is the man for the job.
Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner believes that Paul Lambert, above, is the man for the job.

Paul Lambert's long-term future as Aston Villa manager is assured despite their shock League Cup semi-final exit against Bradford on Tuesday night, according to reports.

Villa lost 4-3 on aggregate despite winning the second leg 2-1, but Lambert retains the faith of Randy Lerner, the Villa owner, even though the midlands club are also involved in a Premier League relegation battle.

It is believed Lambert would still stay in charge even if Villa drop down to the Championship with Lerner believing he would be the right man to take them back up after his double promotion exploits at Norwich City.

Robin Vlaar, the Villa captain, said it was going to take time for the club to recover from the disappointment of losing to Bradford.

"We have to pick ourselves up," he said. "It is going to be hard but we have to. We have no option. Friday is the next game. We are not in the position to have a hangover from the Bradford game.

"We have to go on. When we think about last night, it will still give a bad feeling. But we have to look forward - however hard it is."

Michu has given Swansea City a major boost by signing a four-year contract at the Liberty Stadium. The 26-year-old forward has been a Premier League sensation since joining from Rayo Vallecano for just £2 million (Dh11.6m) in the summer, scoring 13 top-flight goals so far this term.

His exploits had seen the Spaniard linked with a big-money move away from the Swans, but he has penned a deal to stay until 2016. He told Swansea's website: "It was an easy decision for me. I am living a dream here at Swansea."

In other contract news, Guy Demel, the West Ham United defender, signed an extension to remain the London club until 2014.

The 31-year-old Ivory Coast right-back joined on an initial two-year deal from Hamburg in August 2011 and faced former club Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

Demel told West Ham TV: "It's really good for me and I'm really happy to have a new deal with West Ham. … I'm happy to be at West Ham and in the team. The lads are really good with me as are the people working for the club. I hope I will stay that long to play in the new stadium as well."

Newcastle United's new arrival Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is targeting a place in the Uefa Champions League after joining the club.

Yanga-Mbiwa insisted he is undaunted at the prospect of swapping reigning Ligue 1 champions Montpellier for a side languishing just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

"I don't think it is a concern at the moment," he said.

"Newcastle is a massive club and while we are not in an ideal position at the moment, I think we can definitely finish in the top half of the table. In the long term people talk about the top four in the Premier League and I think with the players we have got on board and the manager and his ideas, we can definitely close the gap, get in the top six and … why not challenge for the title?"

After signing Mathieu Debuchy, Alan Pardew, the manager, hopes to have more good news on the transfer front in the next few days with Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara and Bordeaux striker Yoan Gouffran set to join the club.

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