Paul Lambert insists his glass is very much half full as he assesses his team's progress so far this term.
Lambert accepts that the Sunderland game was far from a feast of football for fans but he was keen to look at the bigger picture on the back of the 0-0 draw.
Boss Lambert is very happy with Villa's current standing in the Barclays Premier League table as they lie 11th.
Their tally of 16 points is just five behind Tottenham Hotspur, a team hotly tipped to challenge for the title this term.
Lambert is clearly looking up, rather than down, and was keen to stress the positives in his press conference on Monday.
He said: "We'll go as high as we can.
"The thing is we're sitting where we are at present and if you look at the teams we've played and our points return it's pretty decent.
"You just need to look at it in perspective. We're sitting pretty healthily at the moment.
"We're in 11th and there are some big clubs down below us. It's about how you look at it.
"People can have a negative perspective but our points tally is a lot better than it was at this stage last season.
"In fact, everything about us is better than it was last season.
"The crazy thing is that if you look at it, we're five points off Tottenham, who are regarded as one of the 'big ones' and expected to have a good go at winning the league championship."
While he agreed that the weekend match wasn't enthralling, he called for respect of the Black Cats.
He added: "Yes, the game wasn't great entertainment, put it that way. And we were the home team.
"But you can only play as well as the other team let you. On Saturday it didn't happen.
"We know we can create a lot more chances than we did on Saturday, especially at home, but you've got to give Sunderland credit.
"They came here fighting for everything under their new manager and truth be told, they're a good side. I think they are one club that nobody really would have expected to have been down there at the start of the season."
Lambert revealed a clean bill of health for Wednesday's encounter with Southampton, with the boss expecting Andi Weimann - subbed late on with a tight hamstring - to make it.
Watch the video press conference now on AVTV.