Paul Lambert admitted that he was “relieved” to be sacked as Aston Villa manager.The claret and blues dismissed the Scottish manager with three months of the 2014-15 campaign remaining as they stared relegation on the face.

Paul Lambert had to work on a shoestring budget at Villa Park and when big names had to be roped in the former chairman Randy Lerner pulled the plug. Add to that the lack of communication with the owner and Paul Lambert was having a really tough time at Aston Villa.

Paul Lambert said (as reported by Telegraph):“I look back at some of the photos of me from my time at Aston Villa and I don’t recognise myself,” he said.

“I don’t look healthy and had put on a lot of weight.

“The actual pressure of it was incredible, so, in the end, it was a big relief to leave.”

Lambert, now manager of Stoke City, looks fit and refreshed.

He also said that: “I met Walter Smith at a League Managers’ Association thing shortly after I left, he asked me how I felt getting the sack. Absolutely delighted, I said.

“He said he was the same at Everton. You know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when.

“I loved Villa, but in hindsight did I over-protect them?

“Yeah, I probably did. I offered to resign (in the summer before his sacking) but they talked me out of it.

“The club was up for sale and the money was going. Maybe if I’d left them and not got sacked, my reputation could have been better.”