Paul Lambert delighted by Aston Villa's win against West Ham

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport at Villa Park
Lambert hails world-class free-kick

Paul Lambert hopes Aston Villa can continue to show their resilience after earning a vital win over West Ham to boost their relegation battle.

Villa have surrendered leads in three Premier League draws during 2013, but survived a late Hammers onslaught to move out of the bottom three.

"It's a huge win for us. We have been in positions of being goals up in a few games," said Villa boss Lambert.

"The pleasing thing is we have hopefully broken the camel's back now."

A penalty from Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia's free-kick put the home side in command at Villa Park, before Ashley Westwood's late own goal set up a tense finish.

But Villa held on to clinch their first Premier League win since a 3-1 success at Liverpool on 15 December.

They held a two-goal lead against Everton last weekend before eventually drawing 3-3, while West Brom also battled back from a 2-0 deficit against Lambert's side last month.

But victory against West Ham moved Villa up to 17th place after bottom-six rivals Queens Park Rangers, Wigan, Reading and Newcastle all lost on Saturday.

"We deserve a lot of credit for what we have done today," added Lambert. "That was a huge win for us, especially with the results yesterday.

"We've taken a lot of knocks but football is a funny game and we are only three points behind Newcastle now.

Allardyce bemoans Hammers finishing

"We know what we have got to do and there's 12 games to go and every game is really tough. But you only enjoy these type of matches when you hear the final whistle.

"We have been a couple of goals up and not won twice recently so if we had taken those points then we would be comfortably in the middle of the table."

Lambert was forced into a late change with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor ruled out with a virus.

However, Lambert surprisingly gave a first Premier League start to 21-year-old Jordan Bowery, instead of £18m club record signing Darren Bent, although Bent came on to replace Bowery in the second half.

"There has been a virus going around the club and Gabby (Agbonlahor) had it last night and this morning," said Lambert.

"I didn't have to change the system, just the personnel and I thought Jordan (Bowery) did fine."