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Vlaar: It needs to be better for Aston Villa

Villa endured a torrid end to the season, winning once in their last nine matches, eventually finishing in 15th position, five points above the relegation zone.

Paul Lambert's men also finished 15th at the end of 2012-13, but that came on the back of a strong run in which they won five of their last 10 games to pull clear of trouble.

"It needs to be better, one thing is for sure," Vlaar told the club's official website. "The most important thing, though, is that we secured our Premier League status.

"After last season we had a good feeling in the summer break because we climbed the table and secured safety.

"But in the last couple of months we have dropped. Results were bad and everybody knows that.

"It is frustrating. It is a hard fact we have to deal with. We have the summer to recover and start over again.

"You want to start to look at mid-table and build from that.

"That didn't happen this year either so we have to make some steps in our development as a team."