sport

Lambert praises attitude

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes his side are a 'work in progress' and has praised his team's attitude.

Lambert's young team have succumbed to two successive Premier League defeats to Fulham and Manchester United, leaving them in 11th place in the table.

Ahead of Saturday's game with Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, the Villa boss has been encouraged by the attitude shown by his players and insists they can take on any team in the league.

"We're stronger as a group and we're growing stronger all the time," he told the Birmingham Mail.

"Defeats are part of the job, but you simply dust yourself down and get right back at it. This attitude is increasingly evident in our play and the way we can deal with adversity.

"We're still a work in progress and we're nowhere near the finished article, but the foundations are in place," he added.

"The building work has seen the emergence of a strong and competitive team with a real work ethic. Our results show that on our day we can face up to any team."

Lambert also revealed his shock at the news of Steve Clarke's departure from West Bromwich Albion, one of five Premier League managers sacked so far.

"It's extremely difficult. Everyone knows you have to win games, but he's only been in the job for 15 months," he added.

"I was surprised like everyone else. I never saw that one coming."