The day Paul Lambert felt sorry for the Aston Villa boss

Paul Lambert admitted his final Premier League match in charge of Norwich City was soured by the treatment dished out to his Aston Villa predecessor Alex McLeish.

Lambert's name was chanted by the travelling Villa support during the Canaries' comfortable 2-0 cruise at Carrow Road on the final day of last season.

McLeish was relieved of his duties shortly after the end of that campaign before Lambert was installed in the Midlands following a messy parting of the ways from City.

Ahead of this weekend's first Norwich reunion, the Scot conceded he felt huge sympathy towards McLeish after goals from Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson helped seal his fate.

'I remember thinking at the time, 'This is the wrong atmosphere, this is not right, what's going on here?',' he said. 'I understood the frustration of the Villa fans with what was going on before but from a manager's point of view I felt sorry for Big Al because it can always happen to you.


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'You are standing out there at times and it can be a really lonely place that technical area. It's only ten yards wide but you can feel the loneliest man ever, so I felt sorry for him. It wasn't nice to hear that it and you have stand there and take it. But that is me as a football person, fans pay the money and comes miles to watch it. As a football person I was uncomfortable with it. Really uncomfortable with that scenario. I never knew one iota what was going to happen in the future. I didn't know a thing.'

Lambert knows he needs those same fans to back his side more than ever this weekend after a dire start to his Villa tenure in the Premier League.

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'They're right behind us but ultimately we need to win games,' he said. 'They're brilliant, there's no way that anybody can ever argue with the crowd at Aston Villa that's for sure.

'They come in their thousands to watch you. They get right behind us and the noise at Fulham was excellent again from them. But if we keep giving everything we've got, then it will come.

'You need a break and a little bit of luck along the way. It's just deserting us at the minute but if the players keep playing the way they're doing they'll be fine.'

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