Ron Vlaar says Villa's hard-fought victory over West Ham has reinforced their belief that they can climb to safety in the Barclays Premier League.
Vlaar admits the relief was palpable around Villa Park after the claret and blues battled their way to a 2-1 win which lifted them out of the bottom three.
Although Villa were good value for the three points, they had to survive a late barrage from the Hammers.
But skipper Vlaar felt his team fully deserved the maximum haul.
"Last week we didn't play that bad but we didn't get the result we wanted so this brings a lot of confidence," said Vlaar.
"You could feel the relief, with the fans as well.
"We worked hard, scored two good goals and then we were unlucky with the goal we conceded.
"It was very hard to keep in front. But we did very well.
"We were a little bit lucky as well but we deserved some luck.
"Towards the end it was all long balls and battles but the only thing that mattered was that we got three points.
"We deserved the win today. They had some good chances but with the good goals we scored - especially the free-kick - it was nice for us.
"We are in a tough position and we have to work really hard to get our points.
"If we get the points then everyone is very happy."
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