Paul Lambert was hired to manage Aston Villa on Saturday after being lured acrimoniously from English Premier League rivals Norwich.

Lambert was appointed by American owner Randy Lerner to replace Alex McLeish, who was fired last month after Villa narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League.

Lambert tendered his resignation to Norwich on Thursday, but it was not initially accepted.

The 42-year-old Lambert had been at Norwich for two years and steered the east England side back into top flight where they finished 12th last month, four places higher than Villa.

Good record

Lambert, a former Scotland and Celtic midfielder, started his managerial career at Livingston before moving to England, where he worked his way through the lower leagues with Wycombe and Colchester before transforming Norwich's fortunes.

"He has done very well with Norwich and the clubs he was at before then,'' Villa midfielder Barry Bannan told Sky Sports television.

"He has a good record up until now so hopefully ... he can be as successful with us as he has with his previous teams.''

Bannan hopes Lambert's appointment will inject fresh impetus into Villa where McLeish lasted just one season.

"Obviously last season wasn't the best for a team as big as us,'' Bannan said.

"We should have been way higher up the league and I think they see Lambert as an up-and-coming manager that is doing really well, so it is going to be a massive lift for everyone, the fans and the players as well.

"It is a fresh start for everyone again and hopefully in pre-season everyone is going to have a chance to prove their worth to the club.''

Before appointing Lambert, Villa also held talks with former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he opted to stay at Molde in Norway for family reasons.

Source: AP