Aston Villa would have won with Benteke, says Paul Lambert

The Villans boss saw his side battle to a 0-0 draw with Newcastle on home soil but believes that they will improve once their Belgian striker is back to finish their chances
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert expects his side to build on a solid start to their Premier League campaign.

Villa played out a scrappy 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Saturday, though the result leaves them with four points from two games after their season-opening 1-0 win at Stoke City.

Lambert's men failed to muster a shot on target and rarely looked threatening in the absence of their top scorer for the previous two seasons, Christian Benteke - but the Scot expects that, when the 23-year-old returns imminently to action, his team will be on their way to success.

"I couldn't ask the lads for any more," Lambert told BT Sport, "but bearing in mind we've got Benteke to come back, [Libor] Kozak to come back, I'm pretty sure if one of them was there we'd have got at least a couple of goals.

"Christian should start training after the international break and we'll see how he is."

Lambert was also delighted by the performance of Aly Cissokho and Philippe Senderos on their home Villa debuts.

Cissokho failed to impress last season when on loan at Liverpool but looked a threat against Newcastle on the left flank, while Premier League veteran Senderos also shone.

Lambert added: "I think Cissokho was outstanding and he was that good, they had to put [Moussa] Sissoko back to stop him.

"Philippe has been great; he's a great talker in the game. A lot of people criticised him coming here but so far he's been terrific."

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