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Lambert thanks McLeish for Holman

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has thanked his predecessor Alex McLeish for having the vision to persuade Brett Holman to join the club from AZ Alkmaar.

Former Birmingham City manager McLeish is vilified by Villa fans after being sacked following a miserable season in charge, but Lambert is hugely grateful that his fellow Scot was able to leave him Holman to work with.

The Australia international has said he was concerned that his time at Villa could have been cut short because Lambert had never seen him play.

Lambert is still putting his own stamp on the club after bringing in a selection of promising young players, but Holman has been the outstanding performer so far and the Villa boss feels McLeish deserves the credit.

"If Alex McLeish scouted him then great credit to him, because Brett is doing great for the club," he said.

"I don't know if he had offers from the Premier League before - he might have done. Maybe teams did go in for him, I'm not so sure. But Aston Villa are fortunate to have him."

Holman has settled swiftly into Premier League life, with the midfielder failing to start in only one of Villa's games so far this season.

The only thing Lambert feels is missing from making Holman a complete Premier League midfielder is goals, with the 28-year-old still looking to break his scoring duck.

"He's not shy to have a shot on goal and he's a creative player, so I always think if creative players can make things happen and score a goal or maybe slide the odd ball through, then you've got a player on your hands," he said.

"He's got energy to burn and I'm really happy with the way he's playing. He's been brilliant. He's a top lad as well. If he keeps going the way he's going, he'll have a really good season. He's got a great desire for the game, a great enthusiasm for the game, which is important.

"He's been unlucky not to score. It's important we share the goals around. We need that threat but Brett's all-round game is good, really good."

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