Vlaar sees positives in Albion draw
Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar believes his side should take confidence from their 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion, although they should have put more daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
Villa moved out of the relegation places after taking a point from the thrilling derby at The Hawthorns, but they were left rueing the surrender of a two-goal half-time lead.
Vlaar, back in action for the first time since a calf problem forced him off against Arsenal nearly two months ago, believes there is something to build on.
"The chances and goals we had were from good football," he said. "You could see what we were capable of.
"I really believe we can turn it around. It is not going to be easy, let's be honest. But we put in a good performance to build on.
"I believe we can be out of the relegation zone. The way we played here, especially in the first half, should give us a lot of confidence."
The Dutchman will now be seen by Paul Lambert as an invaluable guiding hand to the many youngsters in his defence, especially as Nathan Baker is being assessed after departing early on Saturday through injury.
Villa were pulled apart with alarming ease in their successive defeats against Bradford and Southampton and still showed some frailty by yielding a late equaliser from another set-piece. "It is too bad we conceded another goal from a corner," Vlaar said. "Being injured is always frustrating because you want to play.
"It is important to look at the things which went wrong, so we don't make the same mistakes again.
"It is obvious we have to concede less goals and make that better. It shouldn't happen that easy because they are cheap goals we are giving away.
"If you can't head it yourself, you have to make sure your opponent doesn't either. We have to realise what situation we are in.
"We have to learn really fast with the young players. It is not easy to organise and I have also my own things to do on the field. But we have to do it and we have to do it together."
In the absence of Vlaar, Villa initially prospered but then took a battering from the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan.
The festive nightmare left the squad bruised but the 27-year-old believes there is plenty to be optimistic about going into Tuesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at home to Bradford.
"You can see how we can play and that should give us trust," he said. "You always try to help each other. Everybody knows when you make a mistake, it is easy to shout.
"We got the chances by playing good football. The first goal was high quality. The second goal...it starts from the back and is a great finish with fast-flowing football. That is what we are capable of.
"We are a team who can play very good football and I think we can do that better than by using the long ball."