Lambert: We've only taken a small step on a long journey
Paul Lambert heads into his second season in charge of Villa in buoyant mood at the progress made so far - but adamant that it's part of a much longer journey to success.
Lambert was thrilled with the way his team finished the previous term, seeing off a host of teams in the final few weeks of the season to retain their Barclays Premier League status with fluent football and colossal courage.
The feel-good factor that produced has been carried on through the summer with the signings of Aleksandar Tonev, Niklas Helenius, Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna, Antonio Luna and Jed Steer.
Lambert is delighted with there his team are right now but also aware that there's still a way to go.
He said: "I've had a good chat with Randy [Lerner] and Paul [Faulkner] about the philosophies we want to create here.
"We are only a small step on the way. There's a long journey to go.
"But the one foot what we took last season was an incredible achievement.
"I think everybody is excited because of what has happened. But we know we have to win games. That is the most important thing."
Lambert expects excitement on the pitch - and in the stands as the effort and energy of his team transmit to supporters, home and away.
He once again expects a big effort from the crowd to inspire the players - and vice versa.
He added: "I think it will be an exciting season because of the way we play. I think the fans will come like they did last season.
"The fans were phenomenal for us last season even through that hard time. Towards the end, they stayed with it too.
"If you look at the gates at Villa Park they were right up there and we had incredible support away from home too. That's great considering we were having a hard time in January/Christmas period where it might have gone the other way.
"But I've got a lot of thanks to them for what they did and hopefully they can see what we are trying to do and they'll come in their thousands again to watch us.
"I think the enthusiasm of the players will transmit to the stands. I'm sure that will happen.
"As long as the fans can see honest endeavour from the team and try to do things then they will go with it.
"They will get right behind us I'm pretty sure when that first game comes. Even for our friendly games they will come in their thousands to watch us."