Paul Lambert was delighted by the spirit shown by his young Aston Villa side as they battled back from losing an early own goal to defeat Reading 2-1.
The win keeps Villa out of the bottom three and within touching distance of Sunderland and Newcastle.
Villa have had a horrendous time since the turn of the year but Lambert’s faith in his youthful side has rarely wavered.
“The lads were fantastic today,” the Villa boss said. “I thought we deserved to win and some of the play was absolutely brilliant. The second goal was fantastic.
“The confidence was always there and if you look at it today, it’s not as if they’re a team that look as though they’re fighting for their lives.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence about us at the minute and a lot of enthusiasm for the game. They’re young and they’ve got a great hunger to go and succeed.
“Every game is massive. If you look at the table now, there are a lot of teams that will be looking over their shoulder now.”
Villa face another relegation battle next Saturday when they host high spending QPR at Villa Park.
Harry Redknapp’s side beat Sunderland 3-1 at home yesterday to record back-to-back Premiership wins for the first time this season.
The defeat keeps Sunderland in the relegation fight with Martin O’Neill realistic about the position his club is in.
“We need to start winning,” the Sunderland boss said. “I think next week [against Norwich] is a big, big game for us.
“We have difficult fixtures coming up, including Norwich. We have our work cut out. We have known that since the start of the season.
“It has been tough going throughout the season and we have to fight through these last nine games.”
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