- Premier League
Villa chairman backs Lambert over suspensions
Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has moved to dampen speculation over Paul Lambert's future after lauding his manager's "total loyalty and commitment" to the club.
The club's decision to suspend Lambert's trusted assistants Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa on Monday has sparked speculation that the manager's position may also be under threat after a poor run of results which has seen Villa dragged into the relegation scrap at the bottom of the Premier League.
However, Lerner's statement appears to confirm Lambert retains his support, as the club prepare for a crucial Premier League game against Southampton this weekend.
"Our manager has been faced with some unexpected issues that could have very easily set the club back," said Lerner, who backed the decision to install Villa legend Gordon Cowans and veteran keeper Shay Given as temporary assistants to Lambert, pending an internal investigation into the conduct of Culverhouse and Karsa.
"In watching him handle matters, along with our Chief Exec [Paul Faulkner], I've seen total loyalty and commitment to Aston Villa while Gordon, a Villa man through and through, has repeatedly stepped up to support the club regardless of the ask.
"Shay, too, has been unhesitating in answering the manager's call. I couldn't ask for more from people who are up for this challenge and the very real obstacles we have to overcome, as is everyone at the club."
Villa have yet to comment on reports in several newspapers that Culverhouse and Karsa have been suspended amid allegations of bullying at the club's Bodymoor Heath training base.