Lambert tips Helenius to hit goal trail for Villa

Nicklas Helenius' first Aston Villa goal will do the striker "the world of good", according to manager Paul Lambert.

The Denmark international has made just three Premier League appearances since completing a £1.2 million transfer from Aalborg in the close-season.

But Helenius looks likely to play a more prominent role in the second half of the season with Christian Benteke struggling for form and Czech international Libor Kozak ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a broken leg.

And Lambert feels the 22-year-old will grow in confidence after opening his Villa account in the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United in the FA Cup last weekend.

"If there is one plus following the Sheffield United defeat it's that I thought Nicklas did well when he came on," he told The Birmingham Mail.

"It was a great goal he scored. He's had a bit of a hard time since he's been here.

''When you are that young and you are trying to get to a level, sometimes people will hit the ground quicker.

"He's a really lovely guy, a nice guy and it was a good goal so that will do his confidence the world of good."

Lambert also confirmed Kozak has undergone surgery on his leg and is hopeful of a pre-season return for the former Lazio man.

He added: "Everything went well. 

"Everybody is quite happy with the operation, so hopefully it is a recovery for him now and we get him back. Hopefully he will be back for pre-season."