Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has reminded fans that there is a long way to go after a losing three of their first four matches.
Villa began the campaign in excellent fashion when they upset the odds to beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, but subsequent matches against Chelsea and Liverpool saw them defeated.
Villa hosted Newcastle United on Saturday as they targeted a return to winning ways, but goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran were enough for Alan Pardew’s side to come away with the three points despite Christian Benteke briefly drawing the hosts level.
Lambert acknowledged that Villa have had to endure a particularly difficult start to the season and was quick to point out that they have many games to go after winning only one of their first four.
He said: “The start we have had has been hard, but this was a bad one to lose.
“But if you look at all the results, there have been plenty of draws, and we are only four games into the season. There is a long, long way to go.”
Villa fans were unhappy with the performances of some of their players at times during the match, but Lambert does not feel supporter pressure is a problem, insisting his team must enjoy playing at home, not resent it.
He added: “I’m not one for excuses. You have to thrive on that crowd and playing in front of it – it is a great crowd to play in front of.
“You have to be able to handle it.”