Lambert sympathetic to Mackay plight
Paul Lambert has expressed sympathy with his good mate Malky Mackay over the job worries he is nursing.
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The two were close friends in their playing days at Celtic and have their sides within a point of each other at the 10-game mark in the Premier League season.
But, while Lambert is grateful for the freedom he is given to do the job his way, Mackay is coming to terms with having recently had his head of recruitment Iain Moody replaced by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan.
"I don’t know the whole ins and outs of what’s happened down there and I’ve only looked from afar and read and seen what happens," the Scot said.
"I know Malky really well and I’m really fortunate that I’ve got a good relationship with Paul Faulkner and Randy Lerner. I think you’ve got to have that. It’s one of the most important things for a football manager. You’ve got to be stable.
"You don’t want to be 100 percent stable, because you also know you’ve got to get results. But when it becomes about off-field matters and things are not in your control, it becomes really difficult.
"The chairman has never tried to interfere in team selection or signing players. He has been great since I’ve been here. If somebody’s telling you who to sign and what to do, it becomes a bit fragmented.
"I would have sympathy [with Malky]. Listen, I don’t know how genuine or how true whatever’s happened there is but I’m pretty sure when I speak to him, he might tell me little things that are going on. I don’t know. I won’t go out of my way to ask him. That’s his private business but I know I’ve got a good relationship with Randy and Paul, which I had to have through last year’s stuff as well."
Cardiff are heading into a League game at Villa for the first time since 1974-75 and their fans, buoyed by the 1-0 victory over Swansea last weekend, have been relieved by the news that Mackay is staying put for now.
Concern remains over the longer term, though, and Lambert has no idea how he would react given similar circumstances.
"I don’t know because I’ve never really had it with my own situation," he added. "You have your ups and downs with every owner but I’ve never been through the things, if it’s reported right, that he’s going through.
"I know him really well. He’s a good guy, very witty, and I look forward to seeing him. He was brilliant in the dressing room. He kept it going.
"He’s an intelligent guy. He’ll know what to say and what not to say. He keeps his counsel, keeps things close to his chest and I think he’ll be fine.
"The only way you can have a relationship is if you’re honest with everybody and they’re honest. Paul and Randy have been excellent since I’ve been here and I’ve never had any problems at all with them."
Villa have failed to score in four matches since beating Manchester City 3-2 -- their only win in the last six matches.
The slide has considerably dented the earlier optimism generated by good performances Arsenal and Chelsea but Lambert still sees much brighter signs than 12 months ago.
"We are in more games this year and I don’t think we’re far away at all," he said. "I see the players every day and know what they will give me."