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The manager believes the defender will become a fans' favourite at Villa Park and was also pleased to see Darren Bent get some game time ahead of the start of the Premier League

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised new signing Ron Vlaar after the defender made his debut in his new side’s pre-season friendly against Nottingham Forest.

The Villans lost the game 3-1, but despite the result the manager admitted he was impressed with the defender who has signed from Feyenoord.

"I thought Ron was excellent. I thought he was really commanding. I think Ron will do great for us. I know he's a very good player,” he told the club’s official website.

"Ron hasn't done too much regarding training but I thought he was excellent. I think he'll be a big favourite with the crowd, that's for sure.”

The game also saw striker Darren Bent feature, and Lambert conceded that the game will help him enormously as he recovers from a thigh strain picked up on the club’s US tour.

"It's a big plus for us that Darren [Bent] returned. He's a natural goalscorer and a threat. He's a little bit behind in terms of fitness but he's certainly a threat.

"That will do him the world of good."

The defeat to Forest was Villa’s first of their pre-season but Lambert insisted that results were not important at this stage of the campaign.

“Listen, pre-season games don't mean a great deal to me. It's all about the fitness. The lads have been excellent,” he added.

"It's hard to judge pre-season games, even when you're winning them. It's still hard then.

"It gives you that breed of confidence but I won't be dwelling on one defeat when you consider what the lads have done over the last month or so.

"We have had a lot of games and we've done really, really well. Listen, we'll be okay.
 
"I said when I came in that nobody would thank me for winning every pre-season game and then losing 12 games or something in the league. I don't pay too much attention to pre-season games.

"That first game of the season is the thing that really matters. I can't fault the team and the way they have played. They've been really excellent.”

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