There is light at the end of the tunnel for Villa and Karim El Ahmadi can see why.
They host Tottenham on Sunday ready to run out from their new tunnel of love aimed to inspire the club’s current crop.
The Villa Park tunnel has been redecorated and plastered with visions of the club’s past success, including the 1982 European Cup win, to motivate the side.
They have won just six Premier League games at home under Paul Lambert, including last month’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City.
And El Ahmadi reckons they can channel their tunnel vision and start making some history of their own.
“I had it with my old club at Feyenoord when I was playing,” said the midfielder, ahead of back-to-back home games with Spurs and Everton.
“You had lots of pictures before you went to the game. For every player, it’s something which makes you extra-motivated.
“It’s something we can aspire to, especially as in our team we have a lot of young players and we have to have the ambition as a player to achieve that.
“It gives you something extra to achieve that when you see things on the wall.
“Wherever I played when you were at home, you had a feeling you could never lose – and it’s a feeling we have to get back. If you beat teams like Manchester City at home it’s a start and people will come into Villa Park and think: ‘It’s going to be a hard time today.’
“If you see how the supporters were when we won (against City) it was unbelievable. As a player we want it every time, so that’s why we have to work hard to win the games at home, to win it for the club and supporters.”
Lambert has embraced the club’s history and had dinner with the 1982 squad last week as he continues to revamp Villa since taking over last summer.
But they have suffered at the hands of Spurs since he joined and twice lost 4-0 at home, the last occasion Tottenham’s League Cup victory in September.
But El Ahmadi, who was withdrawn at half-time in the game, believes Spurs will not run away with it this time.
He said: “We had eight or nine changes in the squad and 4-0 was a little flattering. The goals were mistakes from us, so I don’t think they were that much better than us.
“It’s a different game now and it’s hard to play against us – for every team. That’s what we showed in the couple of games we’ve played since. We’re at home and we want to keep the points here.”
And the Morocco international admitted the players now joke about Nicklas Helenius’ infamous penalty claim when Jan Vertonghen pulled down the striker’s shorts – and got away with it.
He added: “It was a penalty; if you don’t get one then, when are you going to get a penalty?
“We joke about it sometimes. It is funny to see. That moment was hard because it wasn’t a penalty but now you can make jokes about it.”
Christian Benteke could return after a month out with a hip injury while the rest of Villa’s international brigade have come back unscathed.
Spurs made eight changes against Villa in September after spending over £100m following the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for what the Spanish side now claim was a £78m deal.
El Ahmadi believes signing the likes of Roberto Soldado, who was on the bench at Villa Park last month, from Valencia for £26m has turned Tottenham into serious contenders.
“They have a good team, a lot of new players and I think they can challenge for the top four,” said the 28-year-old.
“They have more quality than us. They are a big club and a big team but we have showed we cannot be beaten easily – if you compare it to last season when we played the big teams.
“We can make it hard and that’s what we’ll try on Sunday.”