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The Scot was disappointed with third straight defeat but remained positive on their Premier League chances despite being leapfrogged by Roberto Martinez's side

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admitted their 3-0 defeat to Wigan was the harder to take for him than the heavier losses against Tottenham and Chelsea.

Villa have now conceded 15 goals in three games without reply over the Christmas period which has seen them slide towards the Premier League relegation zone, with their opponents jumping above them on goal difference. And Lambert conceded that the defeat was a real disappointment for him.

"It's disappointing because there was a chance to climb the table," he told reporters.

"Spurs are a really good side, so are Chelsea but we had a real opportunity to try and pull away, especially at home and that’s the disappointing thing.

"When you're competing with everybody else around you and get turned over 3-0 at home it hurts."

Lambert's side are now only one point above the bottom three and despite early season promise and a fantastic victory over Liverpool two weeks ago they find themselves embroiled in a relegation fight with confidence disappearing very quickly, but the Villa boss remained confident his side could survive.

"This football club has been in the survival battle for the past couple of years," he added.

"We're in a fight but so are eight other teams. Everybody's in a fight.

"The last three results have certainly hurt us, everybody was positive after the Liverpool game but as soon as three results go against you there's negativity.

"I understand that, but I've got the belief that Aston Villa will be fine.

"The fans since have been brilliant, totally fantastic with the myself and the team, I can't criticise them. We have to stick together."

Villa have tough fixtures ahead of them with a trip to Swansea followed by a relegation battle with Southampton and then local rivals West Brom, so things will need to change if they are to turn their fortunes around.

For Wigan manager Roberto Martinez it was pleasing to have ended their run of six games without a win and finally turn their good play into a winning performance, their third away win of the season.

"Getting that first win since our victory over Reading [is pleasing]," he stated.

"I think the players have applied themselves in the right manner but we haven't been able to get the results, that why it's very significant today."

The Latics began the game perfectly as they opened the scoring in the third minute through Ivan Ramis, and two second half goals from Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone secured the win for Martinez’s side, with the Spaniard was delighted at the finishing his side showed.

"Today we were a bit more clinical in both boxes," he continued.

"I thought we defended fantastically well, we covered up well, [showed] good concentration and intensity. At the other game we created enough chances to score.

"To get a clean sheet away from home is hard, but I felt we coped with them really well and that’s pleasing."

Wigan rose out of the bottom three with the victory, and now prepare to face Manchester United on New Year's Day.

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