Paul Lambert knows his job at Aston Villa is far from secure, despite signing a new four-year contract just last month.
The Midlands giants have battled against relegation for each of the past three years, but it appeared as though it could be different this term when they started the campaign in fine fashion. Villa won three of their opening four fixtures, drawing the other, but have lost their last five and have failed to score since Gabriel Agbonlahor’s winner at Liverpool back on September 13.
This sequence of defeats has seen them slide to 15th in the Premier League standings, just two points from the bottom three, and this could be even worse when they next take to the field with a home match against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon. And despite signing a new deal just last month, Lambert accepts that the responsibility will fall at his door.
“I never think anybody’s bomb-proof,” Lambert said in his pre-match press conference. “I know football is about trying to get results. Not scoring goals has hurt us, but it will come. You have to pull together and you’ll definitely come through it. There’s a huge expectancy level here. We played the top five teams from last season in succession and mentally playing against them is really hard.”
Villa’s plight looks even worse when it is remembered that they also crashed out of the League Cup at the earliest possible stage, when third-tier Leyton Orient caused an upset by winning 1-0 in the Midlands. Whilst this competition is clearly not as important as their Premier League status, it is regardless another black mark on a record Lambert desperately needs to improve.