Paul Lambert reveals support of Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner never wavered - despite 8-0 defeat to Chelsea

The Villains travel to Stamford Bridge this evening

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The Independent Football

Paul Lambert has revealed Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner's unstinting support never wavered even after their 8-0 battering by Chelsea last season.

American owner Lerner always stuck with his manager during a testing first year at the helm, when a transitional Villa side looked to be heading for relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Villa's capitulation at Stamford Bridge was arguably the lowest point of a difficult season and was followed by a 4-0 home battering by Tottenham and a worrying 3-0 defeat by Wigan at Villa Park.

However, Lerner and the Villa supporters stuck by Lambert and the Scot rewarded them by steering them to safety and towards a bright future.

"I speak to Randy every week anyway and he's always really supportive of it," said Lambert, who takes his side back to Stamford Bridge for the first time on Wednesday.

"I spoke to him the other night after the Arsenal win. He probably says one thing to me and then goes and vomits somewhere else.

"He's been great to me, he really has and that's what you need at that time, that support."

Lambert heads to Chelsea with far more reasons for optimism this time, however, not least following his side's impressive 3-1 victory away to the Gunners in Saturday's opening fixture.

The Scot said: "Saturday has gone and you have to look to the one coming up against Chelsea, who are probably one of the favourites to win the title.

"We'll give it a go, like we did on Saturday. All you can ask is that we go down and give a good account of ourselves.

"It's hard to get results against these teams at the best of times but when you're doing it back-to-back, against Arsenal and Chelsea, it makes it even harder. But they're ready for it, confidence is really high after what happened at Arsenal and we'll go down there and give it a right go."

Lambert is not dwelling on their harrowing visit to West London last year but knows they can go some way to making up for it this time around.

"We owe it to ourselves as well to go down there and try to do better," he said.

"Our crowd have been absolutely brilliant. Even after that game they never turned on the lads. That speaks volumes for the supporters. "Even though the fans were hurt and everybody at the football club was hurt, the supporters were a major catalyst in helping us last year.

"But I don't think about it (the 8-0 defeat) to be honest. I don't look back on it. It's a new season and there are a lot of new lads in the side.

"Chelsea have got a new manager and some new players so it's two totally different teams."

Ciaran Clark is set to come into Villa's side in place of the injured Nathan Baker (ankle) while midfielder Yacouba Sylla could return.