Paderborn 1-1 Villa verdict: Lambert - There were plenty of positives
Paul Lambert spoke of positives after the draw in Paderborn - but insisted, too, that there was a lot of hard work to get through between now and the start of the season.
Lambert drew heart from the goal of Andi Weimann, the performance of Samir Carruthers and the appearances of Josh Webb and Graham Burke.
The NextGen pair flew out to Germany on Thursday as cover for the likes of Aleksandar Tonev, Gabby Agbonlahor and Jores Okore who have picked up knocks this week.
Lambert was pleased to see them contribute.
He said: "It was a great goal from Andi. It was a great ball through from Samir. Andi then did great to round the keeper. It was really pleasing.
"There are a lot of positive things there. We had young Josh coming over with Graham - and Samir is here too.
"You blood one or two young ones. It's good for them.
"Gabby had a slight knock along with Alex and Jores. We have missed those three. But the young lads came in and coped well."
The match pitted Villa - only back in training over a week - against a Bundesliga 2 team in Paderborn who are five weeks into their pre-season.
Lambert was pleased with the performance considering those anomalies, with fitness still very much on his mind as he aims to get all the lads up to speed before that opening Barclays Premier League encounter with Arsenal.
He added: "Winning these games is immaterial. You try to get everyone fit for that first game.
"The main thing for me is getting everyone fit. It's another 45 minutes under the belt for the lads. That's always pleasing.
"But it's a long, long way to go before we're anywhere near match sharpness.
"Saying that, there are still a lot of games when we get back home. There's a lot of football still to be played.
"Paderborn are a long way ahead in fitness levels. They have been at it for five weeks whereas we have only been back for just over a week.
"We are not at the level we want to be but that's why you play these sort of games."
Snap up the sleeveless training top as worn by the players in Germany.