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Lambert: I did not demean FA Cup

ESPN staff
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Ryan Flynn's late goal inflicted FA Cup third round misery on Paul Lambert © PA Photos
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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert maintained he did not "demean" the FA Cup in comments made before his side's shock third round loss to Sheffield United.

League One strugglers United enjoyed a famous 2-1 victory at Villa Park thanks to a late Ryan Flynn goal. Prior to the match, Lambert hinted that Premier League clubs could do without the distraction of the historic competition but explained the context of his words during his post-match interview.

"I was asked a question which the journalist in question actually regrets asking. He knew the context in which I was talking," Lambert told BBC Sport.

"I never decried the FA Cup in any shape or form. I never demeaned the competition. I respect its history. I put out the strongest team I could do to try to win the game.

"The FA Cup is a brilliant competition and everybody wants to do well in it. If you look at my own career, I won things in cup competitions. I won a few leagues here and there but actually won competitions so I am not degrading it."

The Scot was critical of his team, who levelled through Nicklas Helenius following Jamie Murphy's deflected opener, and admitted he did not think they had produced enough quality to win the tie.

"I don't think we did enough to go through and that is me being honest," Lambert said. "Good luck to Sheffield United in the next round. We never did enough to go through. We had a lot of the ball and huffed and puffed. It was one of those kind of games.

"We had a couple of chances towards the end of the first half - Christian's [Benteke] headers - and a couple in the second half where we should have maybe scored more than one goal. I know it [an upset] can happen and it is not a great feeling when things like that happen to you."

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