Boateng: Fans should back Lambert

first_img The Scot has come under fire after a run of four successive Barclays Premier League defeats, albeit at the hands of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, after collecting 10 of the first 12 points contested. However, Boateng, who spent three seasons at Villa Park and is now manager of Malaysian side Kelantan FA, believes Lambert should be given credit for the work he has done on a budget, and urged the players to take more responsibility. Former Aston Villa midfielder George Boateng has urged the club’s fans to get behind manager Paul Lambert. He told the Birmingham Mail: “I think Paul Lambert is a good manager and people should try to understand how difficult it is for him. Every manager wants to buy great players and build a winning team, but you can clearly see that his hands have been tied in the past. “I feel for him because you need great players to be a successful manager. As a manager myself, its the first thing that I stare at everyday. I think to myself ‘Do I have good enough players?’ “This is why I think the fans should support him because it then breathes confidence into the players. “The problem is not the manager because he can only affect the players so much. They also have to take a lot more responsibility because at the end of the day, the manager can’t do it for them once they cross the white line.” However, Boateng cannot understand why proven Premier League goalscorer Darren Bent has played such a peripheral role at the club. He said: “There are not many things that I would do different if I was boss. But there’s one thing that stands out for me, and that involves Bent. “I would have maybe tried to find a way to get more out of him because he is a good goalscorer and proven at Premier league level. “I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation, but I would have still found a way to get the most out of him.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Second string getting chance to shine

first_imgDay two of the Lane Kiffin era was nearly identical to day one — lots of second teamers, lots of intensity and a heavy emphasis on discipline.The Trojans still have more than a dozen players out of action, giving many of the second teamers an opportunity to get their reps in.“It was a really good opportunity for those guys that need double reps to get better,” said coach Lane Kiffin.Those second teamers filled in at a variety of positions, including center when junior Kris O’ Dowd went down with a knee injury. Details on the injury were sparse, but O’Dowd was held out of practice the rest of the day.  He was expected to see a doctor soon after practice.“We obviously don’t want to push him through, it being spring practice,” Kiffin said.That same sentiment was extended to junior tight end Blake Ayles, who was held out of Tuesday’s practice.Ayles participated in limited drills, but most of the tight end reps went to senior David Ausberry and fourth-year junior Jordan Cameron.  Kiffin described the two as “the number one and two tight ends right now.”Ausberry, a wide receiver for the last three seasons, was moved to tight end because the injury to Ayles and redshirt junior Rhett Ellison catching mononucleosis.  The move is permanent for now, according to Kiffin, because “we just don’t have the numbers.”Besides moving players to new positions, the team added 14 new walk-ons yesterday, and may be hosting an additional tryout in the future.—The intensity present on day one remained, in part thanks to a new special teams drill.“It’s a kickoff-kickoff coverage drill,” special teams coach John Baxter said.The first-year coach is looking to inject some intensity into special teams drills that usually lack it.  The team was divided into four tribes, like in the TV show Survivor. The teams compete against each other and against themselves for points.“The person with the least amount of points, the team as a whole has to vote them off,” said senior running back Allen Bradford, the captain of team Atlas.As the captain, Bradford is responsible for maintaining the team flag, an elaborate drawing of Atlas holding up a football-shaped Earth.  The competition encouraged by the game is designed to bring the team and the staff together, said defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.“Once we get to the fall, there’s only one flag that matters, and that’s the one with the ’SC on it,” Baxter said.  The intensity built in the special teams drill was present throughout the defensively dominated practice.—Practice ended with the traditional 11 on 11 scrimmage, highlighted by redshirt junior defensive tackle Da’John Harris tipping a Matt Barkley pass and subsequently intercepting it.“I’ve been dreaming about that play since I got here,” Harris said.  “It was too perfect.”last_img read more