Villa 0-0 Arsenal gaffer verdict: Lambert sees real promise
Paul Lambert says his lions were excellent defensively and offensively in the draw against Arsenal - and believes they could even have collected all three points.
Lambert was proud of the way his emerging side took the game to the Gunners, who've just made it through to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 13th year running.
And he reserved special praise for the back four which finished the game - Eric Lichaj, Matt Lowton, Ciaran Clark and Enda Stevens.
He thinks their mature display sums up the fact that Villa have a "really exciting future" ahead of them.
He said: "I thought we played really well. We were excellent in the way we played.
"I thought we might have nicked it. We lost Ron Vlaar and then you look at the average age of the back four. They defended very, very strongly. It's a really exciting future here I think.
"When you play United, City and Arsenal back to back it's a tough thing mentally. I thought against United we were excellent, City in the second half after the penalty was a bit of a bolt and today we were well in the game.
"I thought defensively and offensively we were well in the game. We are a young side but we are growing together, which is great. We are a threat. The front three were definitely a threat.
"I think we took a lot of heart from the Man Utd game. There was a bit of deflation from the City game but against Arsenal you are against a top side and you have to try and stop them playing.
"I thought we did that but we also were a threat. There's a good belief that they can win games.
"You look at the average age of the back four. In terms of the future of it, it's great."
Lambert, of course, watched the game from the stands following his one-match ban for comments made in the aftermath of the Man City game.
He continued: "I have a brilliant assistant manager. I had no problem. We talked before but we had no problem whatsoever."
Lambert will now check on the fitness of Vlaar on Sunday before deciding whether he's ready to face Reading.
He added: "It's his calf. We will train tomorrow and see how he's feeling."
Make sure you're here to back the lads against Reading.