Paul Lambert still has backing of Aston Villa

Players and fans still back me, insists Lambert despite another Villa loss

-2013.

He said: 'When you are looking for players and trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it’s not always easy for players to come and fit in as they did in the first half.

'I was a little bit surprised myself if I’m honest. I don’t think we would have won the game without Sissoko. That’s how important I think that signing was.

'Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns and that’s what we needed.

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

'With Demba Ba departing from a team that hasn’t been winning, it was a big blow for us and we really needed him for this game.'

Pardew added: 'We have worked really hard on integrating the new players into things.

'They are not here to save us, they are here to help us. That was my message to the established players.

'We had a nice night in the hotel the night before the game, a nice meeting, and you sensed there was a good feeling amongst them all.

'It was a terrific day for us because we were under a lot of pressure to win at Villa.'