Paul Lambert has warned critics to judge Aston Villa at the end of the season, as his side have endured their worst start to a campaign.
Their 1-1 draw with local rivals West Brom meant that Villa manager Lambert’s side have only picked up five points from their opening six games, leaving them 15th in the table with just the one win to their name, but Lambert insists there is still a long way to go.
“We can only do our best, at the end of the season people will judge you,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve come in at a time where the football club has been hurt recently and we’re trying to rectify it, I think people come to watch us now and think it’s exciting. All we can do is our best.”
Lambert saw his side come from behind to pick up a point at Villa Park, with substitute Darren Bent coming off the bench to equalise late on.
“That’s what I want, I want competition and Darren Bent’s a massive part of that,” the 43-year-old added.
“Everyone knows Darren’s a goal scorer and I decided to go with the lads up front but I need everybody. I don’t value anybody higher than anybody else, to do well we need everybody.
“Sometimes it’s easy, when your head goes down. I thought they were excellent and kept on going, maybe left ourselves a bit open at times but it’s a derby game and the atmosphere was great. Credit the team, they gave me absolutely everything.”
Meanwhile, his West Brom counterpart Steve Clarke was happy with his side’s performance but was disappointed not to have picked up all three points.
“It’s a good result, we came here expecting a difficult game, that’s what we got,” Clarke said.
“The disappointment is having gone a goal up and controlled the game for a good spell and created half-chances to get a second goal.
“To get pegged back and finish 1-1 is disappointing, the players in the dressing room are disappointed because they didn’t get the three points. But overall I think we have to be happy with our work today, the performance was really good.”
Clarke also provided a praising assessment of how his side have fared so far this season, with his side currently sitting in sixth place.
He added: “We’ve had a really good start, really positive. The players are enjoying their work and enjoying playing the games.
“We’re picking up good points along the way, we look like a good team and need to keep working hard so we keep looking like a good team.”