Clubs Could Do Without FA Cup - Lambert


Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes the majority of top-flight clubs would rather not have the distraction of the FA Cup.

Speaking before Saturday's third-round game with Sheffield United, Lambert was asked whether the FA Cup was something Premier League clubs could do without.

"If they were being honest, they probably would do," he told BBC WM.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said he understood the comments, but believes the FA Cup is "unique.

" "Every manager knows what they have got in their squad, but it's a unique competition in it's unpredictability with the philosophy that anyone is entitled to chase the dream," added Martinez, who takes Everton to QPR in the third round this weekend.

The Spaniard won the competition with Wigan Athletic in May, only to be relegated just a few days later, but he insisted that "a good run in the cup is always positive".

Lambert's side are six points above the Premier League relegation zone and he says that it is "survival" - rather than the visit of the League One Blades - that is his priority.

"If you can get through, then absolutely I want to get through," he added.

"I don't want to not get through, but your main one is the league.

"It is realistic.
That is the nature of it.
If anyone says any differently, then I am not so sure they will be telling the truth because the Premier League is the most vital thing that anyone wants to get into and we are no different.

"We don't have a massive squad and points are really important.

" Last season, Wigan became the first team to win the FA Cup but also be relegated from the top tier in the same season.

West Ham United sit in the Premier League's relegation zone after picking up just one point from 12 over the festive period and manager Sam Allardyce will also give priority to staying in the top flight.

"When we face the third round after a heavy, heavy schedule then it becomes less of a priority than the other competitions," said Allardyce, who admitted he will field a number of younger players when his side travel to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

"The Under-21s will be tested and they will get the opportunity to show us what they can do against Nottingham Forest.