Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner today broke his silence and backed under-fire boss Paul Lambert.
The Villa Park chief gave a rare statement - his last official press conference was in May 2010 - as the pressure grew on Lambert ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash with Newcastle.
The chairman said: “In the time that I’ve come to know Paul what is clear above all else is his strength of character and belief in his approach to football. Fortunes can shift quickly in this game and a sense that one has it right can become grave doubt in a matter of a few games.
"The Villa board knew that with Paul we would begin to address the club’s multi-year lack of competitive stability by reshaping the squad with seven new signings in the summer.
"It has been rewarding at times this season although certainly frustrating as well, particularly recently. During January Paul and the board have discussed a variety of players although nothing has yet materialised, which I know also can be frustrating as fresh players always give at least a sense of progress and optimism.
"Finally, and on a very personal note, I would reiterate that Paul has achieved success at many levels of professional football and I believe, given support, he will continue to do so for us.”