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Lambert to focus on short term, but "it won't be easy"

Aston Villa have officially confirmed that Paul Lambert will stay on as manager by publishing his thoughts on the matter.

Ben Hoskins

According to Aston Villa, Paul Lambert is staying on as the club's manager in order to focus on "the short to medium term in light of the Chairman's announcement last week." The story confirms what we had heard from multiple sources, but it gives us a little more insight into the constraints under which Lambert will be working. Chief among those is the fact that while he will have funds to spend this summer, they won't be bountiful (emphasis mine):

"The squad requires strengthening, that's self-evident, and it won't be easy within the current circumstances. But we'll look to identify players of proven quality to bring in and get ready for the start of the new season."

I'm assuming that means he will be operating, once again, with a limited budget this summer. But I think we can expect to see a move away from the sort of players he has brought in before, as he identifies the need for "players of proven quality." If there is any doubt to the idea that Villa will be a cheap operation again this year, it comes from that line as well. It's hard to see the club bringing proven players without being willing to spend a bit more than they have in recent years. 

Elsewhere in his statement, Lambert was effusive in his praise for the fans (which is absolutely what he should be doing given how disliked he is in many circles):

"To the fans, my message is simple - this is your club and it's a fantastic club. Your support has made it into this. The past two seasons have been tough and expectations, rightly, are high."

Even if you hate Lambert (and I know that there are many of you out there), it's time to move past him and start trying to figure out what this club can do in the summer. There is reason to believe (see the Chelsea match) that they are only a few moves away from being a solid mid-table club, but there is also plenty of reason to believe (see the previous transfer windows) that they may not make them. 

Let's hope we see something different this summer.