He has made a fast start in addressing both issues. The new Villa manager has wasted little time in identifying transfer targets – the board have been presented with a list of "four or five" names – and the Scot's mere presence at the club seems to have taken care of the mood.
"We've got to try and bring in new lads to give the squad a hand," said Lambert when asked what the key immediate issues were. "And we've got to try and keep the feelgood feel around the place as it is at the minute. We'll do everything we can to get on the front foot."
Last week, just before Lambert's naming as Alex McLeish's successor but by which point it was clear who the new man would be, Villa had a rush of season ticket sales, with 2,000 sold on Thursday alone. The chief executive, Paul Faulkner, says the club are well on course to meet ticket targets and there was little doubt about the overriding theme to Lambert's unveiling at Villa Park on Wednesday.
Randy Lerner, the Villa owner, released a statement outlining his confidence that new man would "energise his Villa squad". Faulkner looked forward to "a brand-new season in which the vibrancy and positive emotion is restored to Villa Park".
Lambert knows how to invigorate a club wilting in front of their own fans. When the former Scotland international arrived at Carrow Road in 2009, Norwich City had just been relegated and had opened the new season with a 7-1 home defeat at the hands of Lambert's Colchester.
A dugout swap and three years later the Canaries are a Premier League team. "Norwich was the same," said Lambert. "I went in there, and there was an acceptance of getting beat. We have to turn Villa Park into somewhere that will get the players going, but the fans need the players to generate that."
The air of optimism is in stark contrast to the misery of last season, when Villa lurched to their lowest points tally in Premier League history, and has arguably not been seen since the days of Martin O'Neill. With Lambert's club history so closely resembling that of his most successful recent predecessor – Norwich, Wycombe and Celtic feature on both CVs – comparisons are unavoidable.
Lambert revealed he had sought out O'Neill's view of the club, but was circumspect on the specifics of the conversation. "He said it was a great opportunity for me," was all that Lambert would divulge.
The 43-year-old was equally coy about his potential transfer targets, although he did say that some of them will be playing in the European Championship, which perhaps hints at a departure from his recruitment policy at Norwich, where up-and-coming players were preferred to established names. Faulkner said the club were in for a busy summer. Several players are expected to leave too.
Villa fans are hoping for a fresh approach and a pleasing style. Lambert, though, admitted substance is the key. "Everybody wants to see a winning team," he said. "If you can do it with style, absolutely great. But if you can't, and you win, then I'm pretty sure people will still be happy."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © mollyig