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The 27-year-old says his side struggled to affect the match but, unlike last season, were able to dig in and claim a point at Villa Park thanks to a solid defensive display

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor believes the side's weekend draw with Sunderland is a mark of the club's improvement this season.

Paul Lambert's men were held to a 0-0 draw at Villa Park on Saturday, with Agbonlahor playing the full 90 minutes following his recent return from an ankle injury.

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Villa were disappointed not to find a breakthrough, but Agbonlahor feels they would have lost from a similar position last term.

"We are frustrated. We probably didn't do enough to win the game but last season we would have lost games like this," he told the club's official website.

"Now if we're not winning, we are getting a point. That's what football is all about - getting points on the table.

"You might not play as well some weeks as you do in other weeks. It's just important then to keeping adding points to your tally.

"Last season we didn't do that enough. We were playing well in some games and not getting points.

"The defence looked solid as always. They have been great this season. Maybe going forward we haven't been as good as we have been previously.

"A few of us have only just come back from injury after being out for several weeks. So it might take us a few games to get back into our stride."

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