With limited resources at his disposal at Villa Park, Lambert has decided to blood a crop of less experienced players in the early weeks of the season.
Former Villa captain Southgate believes that expectations must be reigned in at his old club while younger players are given a chance to develop.
He told The Sun: "Paul did a fantastic job at Norwich, but a club can only be as successful as the structure and circumstances around it.
"Villa will have a tough season because at the moment they're not able to recruit and invest at the very highest level.
"It seems that this year at Villa and one or two other clubs, they're being given that chance.
"They've got a chance to build something now with a lot of hungry young English players, which was very successful for Paul at Norwich City. Hopefully they will be able to do that over the next few years."
Lambert's side go in search of a second consecutive home win in the Premier League for the first time in 2012 when they host West Bromwich Albion in a Midlands derby on Sunday.