Former Aston Villa defender Ugo Ehiogu believes his former club’s recent poor form is due to allowing key players to leave without securing their replacements.
“Villa have lost a lot of key players,” said the defender.
“They haven’t been able to keep hold of the core of the good team they’ve had over the years. Downing, Ashley Young etc, all left at crucial times and I don’t think they’ve really replaced that quality.”
Ehiogu told The Sports Bar that manager Paul Lambert’s inclination to promote a number of young players into the first team will not help their current situation, as they sit only four points clear of the relegation places.
“I don’t think it’s ideal. The best clubs, like Man United, have a mix of experienced and youth, that’s the winning formula. I’d probably say that he’s probably got a little bit more youth than he would like.
“It’s a tough ask for them to be on form every game, they’ve really got to be playing out of their skins every game and they’re also having to adjust.”
Lambert is under pressure and his future at the club is under constant scrutiny, but Ehiogu added that the manager should be given more time to stabilise the team during the club’s transitional period.
“It’s going to be a really tough season for Villa and there’s a bit of a transition going on, as there always is with a new manager. New styles , new techniques, new formations and new players.
“I like his style, everyone I speak says he’s his own person and he’s not afraid to make big decisions and he’s certainly proved that at every club he’s been at, he’s made them better.
“When you appoint someone you’ve got to give them enough time to mould their team and to give them a chance to make progress. As long as there is progress he should be given enough time.”