Aston Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner has heaped praise on manager Paul Lambert for his efforts in the first half of the season.
The Scotsman took the reins at Villa Park in the summer after crossing from Norwich City and after a slow beginning has got the club back on track to sit 14th following an unbeaten run of five games.
Lambert has also steered the club into the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup where they will meet League Two Bradford City.
"There's a long way to go and no-one is getting ahead of themselves," said Faulkner.
"But encouragement is a vital ingredient in order to sustain everyone's effort along the way and what we're starting to see this season is really encouraging.
"Collectively, we are trying to build something that will be strong and lasting and those efforts are, hopefully, starting to bear fruit which is pleasing for everybody associated with the club.
"Paul and the team are working hard to achieve the kind of progression the manager wants to oversee and that work ethic is mirrored throughout the club.
"We have a young, hungry, ambitious manager and we have a young, hungry, ambitious team. The best things take time to build but Paul has been great from day one."