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Paul Lambert backpedals on FA Cup after shock loss to Sheffield United gets squad booed off pitch

Jan 4, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

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Paul Lambert made plenty of headlines earlier this week when he claimed that many Premier League managers would rather not bother with the FA Cup’s stresses on their schedule, and that staying in the PL was the primary goal for most clubs.

And while there’s little to debate in the essence of the latter part, saying all that days before getting handled by Championship side Sheffield United in your own house is a bit… embarrassing.

Saturday morning’s third-round scoreline at Villa Park read 2-1 to the visitors and Lambert faced the media after the match.

Cue the backpedaling:

“I never demeaned the competition one bit. I respect its history and I respect what the competition is about.

If you look at my own career, I’ve won some nice things through cup competitions. The context of the whole interview (was missed). I was not decrying the competition at all.

“I am bitterly disappointed, especially after a really good win on Wednesday. I picked a really strong side to try to get through.”

And getting booed off the field may have made the Cup love finally resonate with the embattled manager.

“The fans pay their money to come to watch and that is part of the game. It is up to us to give them something to be happy about and today we have not done that. Everybody knows I am not the happiest person when we lose.”

  1. Brian - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    The thing is that Lambert is right. For a mid-table team that’s fought relegation the last couple of years, the FA Cup is a distraction that puts unwanted stress on your team. And frankly, if you’re a team trying to make the top 6 in the league, it’s the same thing. Fans don’t want to hear it, but it’s true. There are way more important things out there to play for than the FA Cup these days. As a Villa fan, I’m glad they’re out of it early. Focus on making the best finish they can in the PL. That’s what matters.

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