Lambert rues Villa profligacy
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert saw his side surrender a two-goal lead at West Brom and admitted: "We should have been out of sight at half-time."
Goals from Christian Benteke - his 10th of the season - and Gabriel Agbonlahor gave Villa a clear advantage at the interval, but they were left to regret spurning other chances as Albion hit back to rescue a 2-2 draw through goals from Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie.
Lambert said: "I have a few things going through my head. I thought we were excellent in the first-half. We should have been out of sight, it should have been finished. We should have been four up. That would have killed the game. The way we played in the first-half was excellent."
He added: "In the second half West Brom came out strongly but you expect that. They are the home side. It was disappointing not to win the game because it should have been finished in the first half."
A point was sufficient to move Villa out of the bottom three and Lambert insists they can survive.
He said: "I have always thought we would do it. I have always thought that. If you look at the league in mid-table, it's really, really tight."
Lambert also defended his decision to replace the impressive Charles N'Zogbia, who set up both Villa goals, midway through the second half.
"Charles is a real talent, a real, real talent. He goes past people as if they're not that at times," said Lambert. "When I took him off, he wasn't injured. He's back from a long lay-off so you have to watch him. We have games coming up. We have to protect him."
Baggies boss Steve Clarke insists striker Odemwingie is not leaving during January despite continued interest from QPR. Odemwingie was back to his best during the second period and scored his fifth goal of the campaign.
Clarke said: "No-one is going out in January. We don't need to sell anyone. Will he move if there is a silly offer? You don't know our chairman (Jeremy Peace). No-one is going out. The quicker we get to February 1 the better. No-one is coming in and no-one is going out."