Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert praises 'world class' Charles N'Zogbia

N'Zogbia celebrates his goal against West Ham with his Villa team-mates. Photo: PA

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hailed the performance of Charles N'Zogbia after his "world class" free-kick helped the midlands club move out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

N'Zogbia continued his recent fine form with the decisive second goal in a 2-1 home win over West Ham yesterday as Villa ended a run of eight league games without a win.

Christian Benteke's 15th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot had put Villa ahead and the Hammers could only manage a late own goal from Ashley Westwood.

Lambert said: "The free-kick from Charles was world-class, an absolute world-class goal. He's got that in his make-up. He's a really talented footballer.

"To be fair, over the last couple of months he has been excellent for me.

"He was unlucky because he had a bad knee injury that kept him out for six weeks or so.

"Since he's come back into the fold, he's been excellent. He has that X-factor about him. Those type of players are not easy to come by."

Villa had to survive a tense finale in which goalkeeper Brad Guzan pulled off two fine saves to deny Kevin Nolan and Hammers substitute Carlton Cole.

Lambert admitted: "It's only great when you hear that whistle and you've won. It's the only good thing about it. The stress levels are ridiculous.

"It's hard to explain. You have to be in that position. Balls are going into your box. But once it's finished it's great you have won. You just have to see it through.

"It's a huge win for us. We have been in positions of being goals up in a right few games recently.

"If we had taken more points from those, we'd be comfortably in mid-table. But the pleasing thing is we have hopefully broken the camel's back with that."

West Ham have now lost five successive away games and co-chairman David Gold says the club will not talk to manager Sam Allardyce about a new contract until their Premier League survival is ensured.

"As [fellow co-chairman] David Sullivan and I have always maintained, we will sit down and discuss Sam's contract situation once our Premier League status has been confirmed and not before," Gold said in a statement on the club's website.

"This is purely because the three of us don't want anything to distract attention from our aim of finishing as high up the Premier League table as possible."

Gold also wrote on Twitter following the defeat to Villa: "Disappointed for the fans who travelled hundreds of miles on a miserable day to lose to a team in the bottom three. We should do better."

Allardyce said: "I thought we had saved it but we should never have been in that position. That's the biggest disappointment.

"We should never have got ourselves in a losing position because we'd created the chances. We can't play any better than we played.

"We then created the chances to get ourselves back to 2-2 and we failed to do so and that's been our problem away from home this season.

"The keeper (Guzan) was Villa's hero at the end. When you created the chances we did and don't put the ball in the net, you can pay a heavy price in this league."