Lambert urges Villa fans to abandon protest
Paul Lambert has asked Aston Villa fans to abandon a planned protest for their home Premier League fixture with Liverpool on Saturday.
Three unofficial supporters' websites have called for a boycott on the opening eight minutes of the game - representing one minute for each year chairman Randy Lerner has been in charge.
Lerner has made public his desire to sell the club and the protest is seen as a way for supporters to express their dissatisfaction, but Lambert has called for unity.
"I understand the frustration and nobody is more frustrated than myself," said the Scot.
"Everybody involved with Aston Villa is frustrated at what has happened over the last five or six years since Martin O'Neill left and the team was in the top six.
"Martin had this club buzzing at that time, vying for Europe, going great, and what's happened has happened.
"But I don't think you can look at the chairman and say it's one guy's fault. It's unfair. He has the club's interest at heart.
"I understand the fans' frustrations, but we'll have a better chance of winning a game of football if they don't protest, if they stick with the lads, no matter how hard it gets at times.
"When the stadium is behind the players it's a great place to play football and we've a better chance of winning if they don't do it.
"Whoever has planned it, I hope the guy next to them tries to keep them on their seat.
"I don't want Aston Villa fans to come to Villa Park - or even away from home - and not see the team win or not be entertained."
A local newspaper ran a poll asking supporters if they would like to see Lambert leave his post, with 67 per cent replying in the affirmative, but the 45-year-old insists he will not quit.
"I want to make a success of this," he said. "I'm obviously not happy with the way things are going, with what's happening in the last third of the pitch.
"But anybody that knows me knows I'm not one for downing tools and walking away. I've never done that in my football career, and I don't intend to do it now."