Aston Villa: Paul Lambert undecided on Christian Benteke's role against Hull

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Boss Paul Lambert says it wasn't a hard decision to drop Christian Benteke for Saturday's visit of Chelsea.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has admitted to Sky Sports that he is still to decide whether to recall Christian Benteke for Tuesday’s tip to Hull City.

Benteke, 24, has average 594 minutes per goal in the Premier League this season, having netted just twice since returning in October from a ruptured Achilles which forced him to miss the final two months of the 2013-14 campaign.

The Belgian striker’s poor form saw Lambert opt to drop him for the weekend’s 2-1 defeat to league leaders Chelsea, with defender Jores Okore ending their 11-hour goal drought in the 48th-minute with a powerful header from Carles Gil’s cross.

With Benteke coming on for the final 22 minutes, Lambert insists that it wasn’t a hard decision to leave his star man out of the line-up and, after a solid team performance, is now considering whether keep the same team for tomorrow’s match.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to leave Christian out. His form has dipped, he knows that by his own admission when we spoke,” he said.

“I thought playing Gabby was vindicated, I thought he was excellent. I thought Gabby did ever so well and I expect Christian to take it like any other player and fight their way to get back into the side.

“I don’t think we should leave everything to Christian, it’s not his sole responsibility to score goals. I thought his form and general game wasn’t up to the level I know he can produce.”

After the Chelsea loss, Villa have now gone nine league matches without a win and sit 16th in the table, just two points above 18th-placed Hull in the relegation zone.

A positive result against Steve Bruce’s side is a must therefore, and Lambert has challenged his team to replicate their weekend showing.

"It's a tough, tough game at Hull. Steve Bruce is in the same position as ourselves where you are fighting everything to get results,” he said. “They are a tough team to play against but if we do what we did on Saturday we will be right in the game."

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