Villa U19 v Olympiacos U19: Lambert impressed by European exploits
Paul Lambert has delivered a boost to Villa's future stars ahead of their big European night against Olympiacos by hailing their exploits in the NextGen Series this term.
Lambert has taken a keen interest in the club's development teams since his appointment in the summer.
The boys in claret and blue have embarked on a run to the NextGen quarter-finals for the second year running, earning victories over Sporting Lisbon, Celtic, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax along the way.
And Lambert has been impressed by their performances in the prestigious European tournament.
He is looking forward to seeing how the young guns fare at Villa Park this evening when they battle Greek outfit Olympiacos for a place in the semi-finals.
"I think it is great for them and they have done exceptionally well," said Lambert.
"They got a phenomenal result in Amsterdam a month or so ago - it was a fabulous result to go over there and win.
"I think it is great for them that they are at home and the staff and players deserve a lot of credit for getting there.
"It is never easy when you are a young player and you are trying to break into the first team really quickly.
"But I think they've been excellent."
Lambert believes the NextGen Series has been a worthwhile competition since its inception last season.
The Villa boss reckons the young players will benefit from the different clashes of styles.
"I think it is good because you are getting different European experience rather than playing British teams all the time," he added.
"I think that is good and it is a different game from playing against British teams."
Be there to cheer on the boys against Olympiacos.