Lambert: Aston Villa my toughest challenge

Paul Lambert has revealed managing Aston Villa was the toughest challenge of his career after his two-and-a-half year spell in charge came to an end, ESPN has reported.

Lambert was relieved of his duties on Wednesday evening, 24 hours after the Midlands club dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League. The Villans are 18th with 22 points, level on points with Queens Park Rangers, who are a place above the drop zone, and five points clear of bottom side Leicester City.

Villa have won five of their 25 league games so far, drawing seven and losing 13, scoring 12 goals and conceding 34 in the process. No team in the top flight has scored fewer than Villa, although there are 10 teams who have conceded more.

Lambert, appointed from Norwich City in the summer of 2012, said in a statement released through the League Managers’ Association (LMA) that Villa owner Randy Lerner warned the Scot of the challenge at Villa Park, and explained a little of what he faced when he replaced Alex McLeish.

“My initial remit was to conduct a massive overhaul of the playing squad, lower the overall wage structure of the playing staff and achieve this whilst keeping the club in the Premier League,” he said. “There was also a concerted effort to purchase and develop younger players who would provide a solid footing for the football club to move forward and enhance the value of the playing squad in the future.

“When I came on board the club’s owner, Randy Lerner, warned me that I was embarking on the toughest challenge of my working life and he was not wrong,” Lambert continued. “But I have never stepped away from hard work and I put my heart and soul into the job from my first day until my last.”

Lambert concluded his statement by paying thanks to the supporters and players at the club, as well as Lerner.

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