Guus Hiddink Hints At Possible Pato Debut

Guus HiddinkGuus Hiddink says Alexandre Pato could make his Barclays Premier League debut when Chelsea visit Aston Villa on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Brazilian joined Chelsea on loan from Corinthians in January and has yet to feature, but interim manager Hiddink says the forward’s fitness may have put him into the frame for the visit to Villa Park.

“Whether Pato will be actively involved we will see tomorrow,” Hiddink told chelseafc.com. “I don’t give any player a guarantee but there might be some time for experiments.

“Pato’s fitness has improved. He has worked very hard during the international break. When I started we had just Diego which was one of the reasons we got Pato on loan.

“Meanwhile there was development in, for instance, [Bertrand] Traore, so there was more competition for Pato. Remy has come back after a long-term injury too. I try to make a fair judgement and give opportunities to the others knocking on the door,” he said.

Focusing on the match itself, Hiddink expects the home side to be rejuvenated as they seek to impress new caretaker manager Eric Black.

”They were playing with a lot of ambition against Swansea. The team looked very fresh. When there is a change there is automatically a reaction. We can expect an entertaining game tomorrow.”

Iheanacho Delighted After Scoring Hat-Trick

iheanachoSuper Eagles player, Kelechi Iheanacho, has expressed the hope of sustaining his FA Cup momentum after scoring a hat-trick for Manchester City in their 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park.

It is Iheanacho’s first hat-trick at City and he said he was hopeful of more to come.

At the post match conference, the Nigerian confirmed that it was a great feeling when the fans chant his name and believed that it would motivate him to improve.

Manchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was full of praise for the young player, saying the club allowed Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko to leave because they knew Iheanacho had quality.

City will play against Sunderland in their next match on Tuesday.

Aston Villa Part Ways with Manager Paul Lambert

villaAston Villa’s Paul Lambert has emerged the fifth manager to depart in this current Premier League season, after Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace), Alan Irvine (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Pardew (Newcastle United) and Harry Redknapp (Queens Park Rangers).

According to a statement from Aston Villa, Lambert was shown the way out of the club after a run of ten winless games took them into the English Premier League relegation zone.

The forty-five year old took over at Villa Park in 2012 and led the Midlands club to 15th-place finishes in his first two seasons, but the former Scotland midfielder had come under pressure from fans following a poor run of recent form.

Villa’s 2-0 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday night was the last straw for the club’s board. The defeat saw them slip into the relegation zone for the first time this season – they were third from bottom ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League fixtures.

A lack of goals has been Villa’s primary problem all season – they have managed just 12 in 25 league matches and have not won in 10 games.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Aston Villa Football Club has parted company  with manager Paul Lambert. First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.

“The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future.

“The club will announce a new manager in due course. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”

Many of Villa’s travelling fans at Hull made it clear they wanted Lambert to be sacked.
After Tuesday’s defeat Lambert remained in defiant mood, saying: “I was aware of it (fan unrest) months ago. I just try to do my best.

“We have a massive fanbase behind us, and they want to see the team doing well. It was a disappointing result.
“We are in a fight. I have said it to the lads in the dressing room. They know it. There is still a lot of football to be played. We just have to go out to win the next game.”

Lambert replaced Alex McLeish in June 2012 after two years with Norwich City. He signed a new contract extension in September last year, shortly after a 1-0 win over Liverpool took them to second place in the table. They won three of their opening four matches of the season, drawing the other.

But Villa’s season soon collapsed – they have won just two of their last 21 games, including a dismal run of 659 minutes without a Premier League goal which ended in a defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Nevertheless Villa chiefs showed every sign of resisting the growing unrest among Villa fans and keeping faith in the Scot despite their plunge into the relegation zone.

Villa have been knocked out of the League Cup by third-tier Leyton Orient, but have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.