Former Norwich City target Karim El Ahmadi - Aston Villa have to steer clear of drop zone

Former Norwich City target Karim El Ahmadi insists staying out of the Premier League drop zone will be Villa's main motivation this weekend.

Villa are one point and one place above the bottom three going into tomorrow's lunchtime clash against Chris Hughton's Canaries.

And El Ahmadi admits dropping into the relegation places is a psychological blow Paul Lambert's claret and blues are anxious to avoid.

'We are close to the bottom three, but no team we have played have destroyed us or been much better than us,' he said.

'It's mentally a place we don't want to be, so if we lose it would not be good, but we have confidence.

'If you see the games we have played, it's only in the Everton game where the opposition were much better than us.

'In the last three games, we could have beaten West Brom and if we'd scored first against Tottenham it might have been a different result.

Most Read

'At Fulham we were heading for 0-0 but if you see the goal, that cannot happen, especially in the Premier League.

'We have to be aware we have to do everything for the points.

'It's very important, we mustn't look too far into the future – you saw Norwich beat Arsenal so in this league anything can happen.

'We have to be aware that we need the points to be in front of Norwich.'

El Ahmadi admits he could have been lining up against Villa this weekend after being pursued by Lambert when the manager was at Norwich.

Instead, the Moroccan midfielder was Lambert's first signing for the claret and blues when he arrived from Feyenoord for �3 million.

'Yes, sometimes I think about that,' El Ahmadi told the Birmingham Mail. 'But then maybe I would have been wearing a lot of shirts if you keep thinking like that! I don't think about that now.

'I've heard from a lot of people that the manager wants to win so that we can look up higher in the table.'

El Ahmadi reckons Villa's performances so far deserve to have yielded more than five points from eight games.

'The most important thing is we keep our heads high,' he said. 'We have a good team and we have to show it against Norwich.

'We expect to have more points than we have now. I think if you see the games, we could have had more points by now.

'It is not like the teams we have played are much better than us, it is more like we are unlucky.'