Newcastle 1-1 Villa gaffer verdict: Lambert proud of his players
Paul Lambert roared out "that's a start for us" after the draw with Newcastle and promised Villa will "get better each week" as his football philosophies come to the fore.
Lambert was a touch disappointed not to leave the north-east with all three points but he was really thrilled with the side's character.
He praised the team's courage at the back, the quality in the middle and the energy up top as Villa played some crisp, delightful football for long spells at the Sports Direct Arena.
He said: "I thought we were excellent throughout to be fair, offensively and defensively.
"It was a wonder goal which pegged us back but the way we played - the football we played - was very good. They were excellent.
"You have to remember they are young! But I have nothing but praise for them.
"The experienced ones too, every one of them in fact, were excellent.
"I'd rather play football then not. I know you've got to win as many games as you can but I would prefer to play.
"We have really good footballers in the team. If we keep playing like that and keep working as hard as that? It's a start for us. We're getting stronger.
"Overall, I just thought we were excellent throughout the game at a place where it's really tough to get anything from. We were well worth something, that's for sure!
"They will get better each week and every game. Their enthusiasm for the game is brilliant and we have some really talented footballers too."
Lambert spoke about his decision to favour Brad Guzan over Shay Given for the tough away game.
He continued: "I just thought it was the right decision for the football club.
"Brad made two world-class saves - the free-kick at the end and the one in the first half.
"His handling of the game was fantastic. It was a big call but that's the game.
"I just try and pick a team that I think will win a game. That's all I can do.
"Shay is a brilliant goalkeeper, there's no two ways about it. I had a chat with him the other day."
Lambert is especially excited about the prospect of having Christian Benteke, Ashley Westwood and Joe Bennett available for the next home clash with Swansea.
He added: "Hopefully Christian will come back from the national team and be okay.
"Joe and Ashley will be fine too. We will be a lot stronger for it."
Lambert confirmed Chris Herd [thigh], Joe Bennett [leg] and Fabian Delph [knee] all missed the game through injury but he's hopeful of seeing them back against the Swans.
He's also confident Karim El Ahmadi [ankle], who limped off against Newcastle, will also be fit for the match.
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