Paul Lambert has no doubts that his Aston Villa side is vastly improved from the one that struggled to Premier League survival last season.
Villa have attracted criticism from some sections of the fans and media over the past few weeks despite sitting 11th in the table having already faced five of the so-called 'big six' this term.
"We're sitting 11th at the moment and there are some big clubs down below us," Lambert told the press. "It's about how you look at it. People can have a negative perspective of it but our points tally is a lot better than it was at this point last year.
"Everything about us is better than it was last year. We're sitting 11th at the minute and the crazy thing is that if you look at it, we're five points off Tottenham, who are regarded as one of the 'big ones' and expected to have a good go at winning the league. The game on Saturday wasn't great entertainment, put it that way. And we were the home team. But you've got to have a bit of realism.
"You can only play as well as the other team let you and we just didn't get going enough to create chances. Whereas in the second half against West Brom in our previous match we looked great and as if we could score. On Saturday it didn't happen."
Villa travel to face Southampton on Wednesday.