Paul Lambert is refusing to panic, despite Aston Villa facing another fight to retain their status as a Premier League club this season.
The Midlands giants have been ever-present in the top-flight since 1988-89, when they returned to the old first division after spending a campaign in the division below. However, they have battled against the drop in both of the last two seasons, finishing just two points clear under Alex McLeish in 2012 and five under Lambert last term.
And with just 11 games remaining of this edition, Villa are only four points above the bottom three having lost three of their last four fixtures, the latter of which came when Loic Remy scored a stoppage time winner for Newcastle United on Sunday. Lambert, though, is refusing to panic, and remains confident his side will soon be clear of danger.
“I’ve not changed my view from a couple of months ago,” he said. “It is what it is at the minute. The thing for us is we are playing well, we are just not getting the breaks. If you are playing games and getting beaten heavily then that’s the type that you have to worry about. I don’t have that worry. There are a lot of teams below us. We went through this last year so we know what it’s like. We don’t panic. We just try to win the next game.”
Lambert faces familiar opposition on Sunday, when his former club Norwich City visits Villa Park. The Canaries gave their own chances of survival a boost when they narrowly beat Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road, courtesy of a Robert Snodgrass strike. This drew Chris Hughton’s side level on points with the Midlands club, meaning they will leapfrog them in the table should they record a second successive win for the first time this season.
Ashley Westwood, meanwhile, is confident he and his team-mates will shrug off the defeat to Newcastle and be up for the fight against Norwich. Speaking to BBC West Midlands, the midfielder said: “We’re not scared of anybody. On our day we can beat any team in the league. We just need to eradicate those little mistakes. We’ve had a good talking to and we’ll come out fighting at home against Norwich City next week.”