Lambert admits Benteke injury was 'biggest problem' during time as Aston Villa manager

Benteke Villa

Paul Lambert has opened up on his time at Aston Villa.

Paul Lambert has told The Scottish Sun that the injury sustained by Christian Benteke was his biggest problem at Aston Villa.

Lambert, 45, was appointed Villa boss back in 2012, and spent almost three years in charge before being sacked by Villa in February of this year.

The Scot left Villa Park with just a 29.57% win percentage, and drew ire from Villa fans over the course of last season for his negative brand of football.

Almost six months after his departure, Lambert has spoken to The Scottish Sun about his time at Villa - revealing what owner Randy Lerner told him about taking the job at Villa Park back in 2012, before admitting that Christian Benteke's injury last year was the biggest problem he faced.

"It is a great club. I still get on well with Randy Lerner," said Lambert. "When I joined, Randy said it would be ‘the toughest year of your life’. What he didn’t say to me was that so would the second season! The club was up for sale. It was losing £50million in one season so we had to look at reducing the wage bill."

"The biggest problem was Christian Benteke’s injury and then my other No 9, Libor Kozak, breaking his leg. I watched the Cup final. I am not one of these guys to say ‘this is my team’. I was just delighted for the guys to get to the final and sorry they couldn’t beat Arsenal," he added.

Benteke's injury - huge impact?

Benteke was Lambert's biggest success story, bringing the Belgian to Birmingham shortly after his arrival as manager in 2012.

However, in April 2014, Benteke suffered a torn achilles tendon, not only ruling him out for six months, but also out of Belgium's World Cup campaign in Brazil last summer.

Benteke clearly took a while to get back up to speed after that injury last season, and struggled to score the goals to help Villa in the first half of last season - which ultimately cost Lambert his job.

The huge striker then clicked into gear in the second half of last season under Tim Sherwood, and fired Villa to safety; no doubt making Lambert wonder just how things could have been different had Benteke not suffered that injury.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch