London: Aston Villa`s unbroken stay in the Premier League is in dire peril after a 2-0 defeat at Hull City on Tuesday left the free-falling Midlands club in the relegation zone.
Fans again turned on manager Paul Lambert, unfurling a banner calling for him to be sacked, as Villa lost for the seventh time in their last 10 league games -- a dismal run in which they have collected three points and scored twice.
Goals from Dame N`Doye and Nikica Jelavic earned the points for Hull, who moved out of the bottom three.
"I`ve told the players they`ve got 13 cup finals. That`s how they`ve got to look at it," Lambert said.
"I know they`re more than capable of doing it. There`s seven or eight teams in it. We just have to get ourselves out of it."
Asked about the fans` revolt, he added: "I was aware of it months ago. I try to do my best. It`s a great football club with a massive fan base and they want to see their team doing well."
Since back-to back wins against Crystal Palace and Leicester City at the start of December the confidence has ebbed away and the goals have dried up alarmingly.
Villa`s tally of 12 goals is the lowest, by far, of any side in the top four divisions of English soccer.
Only one team in top-flight history (Leicester 11 in 1977/78) have scored fewer goals after 25 games than Villa this term.
They have failed to score in 15 of their 25 league matches and unless Lambert can pull his side out of their nosedive soon, the Championship beckons.
Lambert continues to talk the good fight, although his words are beginning to sound a little desperate.
"We`ve got to keep battling away and keep our heads up," he said. "We`re certainly in a fight. You have to keep going and keep being positive."