Lambert plans Albrighton contract talks

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is set to hold talks with winger Marc Albrighton about a contract extension at the club.

The 24-year-old has risen through the ranks at Villa Park, making his debut on the opening day of the 2009-10 season against Wigan Athletic.

Albrighton's progress has been hampered somewhat by injuries in the past two seasons and he enjoyed a spell on loan at Wigan earlier this campaign.

The former England Under-21 international has returned to the Midlands club and impressed in a substitute appearance in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham on Saturday, a performance that puts him in contention for a starting role at Cardiff City on Tuesday.

And with Albrighton's contract set to expire at the end of the season, Lambert confirmed he is planning to discuss a new deal.

"I'll definitely sit down and talk to him," he said. "It's just the way things have worked out with games, his injuries, one after the other, but I know he's out of contract, so I'll sit down with him.

"Every time he has come on for me he has done well. He's just been really unlucky with his injuries which have kept him out for a long spell.

"But he was excellent on Saturday. He put some great balls in, he hit the post and set up the chance for Christian Benteke when he hit the bar.

"He was a plus point, the one really bright spot for us."

Defeat against West Ham leaves Villa just four points above the relegation zone in the Premier League, but Lambert pointed to last year's successful fight against the drop as motivation to stay up this time around.

He added: "There are two ways to look at it, it will either take you under, or you thrive on the challenge.

"It's the same as last year. You either meet it head-on or it takes you under.

"We came through last year when we were in a worse position than now, so we will come through this one.

"If you look at it everybody is capable of beating everybody else, with one win taking you up the table, one defeat dropping you down. That is the way it is at the moment."