Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert ready for clash with Stoke City
Paul Lambert insists Stoke remains as tough an away assignment as it was when Tony Pulis was in charge.
Last Updated: 20/12/13 4:44pm
Pulis has been succeeded by fellow Welshman Mark Hughes and Stoke have been praised this season for playing with more of a passing style.
But while there might be change on that front, Stoke remain as difficult to defeat on their own turf as ever, having lost only one of their eight home league games this season.
And Aston Villa boss Lambert is expecting another stern test when they visit the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
"I don't think it'll be any different from what it was up there last year," said Lambert.
"Mark took over from a really successful manager in Tony and he's added one or two of his own type.
"But no matter what type of football Stoke are playing, it's a tough place to go."
He added: "Tony had them playing the way he had them playing and Mark has gone in there and in a short space of time has tried to put his stamp on it.
"Whether it's fully in his way, it's too short a space of time to say. But at any time, going to Stoke is tough."
Villa have fared well away from home this campaign, with 12 of the 19 points they have accrued being picked up from their eight matches on the road, while they were 3-1 winners at Stoke last season.
Lambert is in no doubt that his side have been playing with more freedom on their travels, but is not sure why.
He said: "Away from home, we seem to be a lot more free for some reason.
"We don't ever set our stall out to do anything other than going to try to win a game, and on Saturday we'll do that.
"The results suggest that it seems to be that we play better away.
"But it's up to us to rectify our home form."