Thomas Hitzlsperger on change of mentality required at Aston Villa

Thomas Hitzlsperger believes Aston Villa have placed too much emphasis on being tight at the back and forgotten how to attack.

Thomas Hitzlsperger has told Sky Sports that his former employers at Aston Villa have tweaked their mentality too much.

Having looked shaky at the back in recent years, greater emphasis has been placed on keeping things tight.

Paul Lambert’s men have ended up going too far the other way, though, with struggles now being endured in the final third.

They have never been a free-scoring outfit under their current boss, but the goals have dried up completely at times this season.

Villa have found the target just 11 times in 22 Premier League outings, with a fifth successive blank drawn in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Hitzlsperger told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday: “Look at the defence, I think they are doing quite well. Yesterday, you could say that (Jores) Okore could have done better, but they aren’t conceding many goals.

“They defend as a team and think defensively, which is good, but they are not thinking of going forward. It’s also the players, when the team gets the ball they need to think about getting forward and getting men in the box to score goals, that’s where goals are scored. That’s what they aren’t doing.

“Last season they conceded so many goals that the main focus has been on not conceding. Now that’s the only thing they think about rather than going forward and creating things.”

Lambert needs to find the right balance between defence and attack, with Villa in danger of being dragged into trouble.

They are now just three points clear of the relegation zone and without a win in seven in the league.

The January transfer window has allowed them to bring in Spanish playmaker Carles Gil, but further attacking reinforcements may be required before the month is out.

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