Billionaire owner Lerner wants out and has put the club up for sale but Lambert said it never crossed his mind to walk away.

And he's told Lerney that he's going to give him a list of players he wants and leave the rest up to him.

Lambert and chief executive Paul Faulkner met Lerner in New York at the weekend to thrash out the way forward.

And the Villa boss admitted that although things were far from bright he is hopeful of getting in quality players either on loan or frees.

He wants Manchester City's former England defender Joleon Lescott and will ask Lerner to try to finance it.

He's also hoping to go down the route of attracting top quality stars in the mould of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku.

And despite working with his hands tied behind his back, Lambert remains upbeat about the task in hand.

He said: "If you quit once, then you will quite twice and if you quit twice then you will do it three times and I'm certainly no quitter.

"It never crossed my mind, not once. I've had a duty to protect this football club and that's what I've done.

"I don't like to think about what would have happened if we had gone down.