Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has hailed the courage of defender Nathan Baker.

Baker put his head on the line to block a Kenwyne Jones shot in victory at Stoke City.

"I think that's part of the game," said Lambert.

"It's very rare in football that you can go through a game and not get hit somewhere or get a cut or anything like that.

"If you can go throughout your career without that then you're doing all right! There will be times where you have to put your head in and take the hit.

"Nathan Baker, for instance, goes in for things you think, 'I don't know if he should go for that', but he's at the point where he can't stop.

"You can't question his bravery that for sure. You expect people to be strong, but I'd like people to play the game the right way.

"If they can adapt to reading situations then great, but you also know being a defender you'll also have to go into things that some people might not want to go into and you'll have to deal with it."