Sunderland v Villa: O'Neill backs Lambert for Villa success
Martin O'Neill believes it's just a matter of time before former charge Paul Lambert gets Villa firing again.
O'Neill admits he spotted an ambitious and driven streak in former midfield ace Lambert when the pair worked together at Celtic.
O'Neill, boss at Villa from 2006-2010, believes the present incumbent is the man to push Villa forward to a bright future.
He said: "Of course, I know the manager. He did brilliantly at Norwich City.
"I had him as a player at Celtic. He was always ambitious. He was always striving to do better. He had the appetite.
"I am not surprised he has done well. He went to Norwich and galvanised that football club.
"He's now moved on to a really big club both in history and tradition.
"It takes a few weeks to establish yourself. It takes a few weeks to find out the strength of the reserve team, never mind anything else!
"All of those things are things Paul is learning at the moment.
"I came into Sunderland during the season and I always feel that's a difficult time.
"You pick it up immediately or it can take a bit of time. Thankfully we won our first match against Blackburn Rovers.
"Time is pressing in football and clubs are not affording people these days.
"Paul went into their pre-season and the first thing he has to do is find out the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
"Again that can be hard, learning a lot of things in pre-season. You're never exactly sure because pre-season can be misleading.
"Then he wants to add a few other players that he feels are good enough to go. All of these things take time but I have no doubt that he will be able to turn that around."
O'Neill believes Villa arrive at the Stadium in good heart following their Capital One Cup win over Swindon.
He added: "It was a great victory for them at Swindon to come back and score a last-minute winning goal. It puts them in the quarter-finals.
"In that sense it keeps their momentum going."
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