Paul Lambert was giving nothing away on what the future holds for either him or Randy Lerner, although it was hard to escape the feeling that change is in the air at Villa Park. Lerner will release a statement after the final game of the season, against Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday, and Lambert promised the owner's words would "bring clarity". The American is expected to sell up and the suspicion is that Lambert may also be on his way.
After watching his side gain the much-needed victory that secured Premier League football for another season, Lambert looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. "That's an understatement," the Villa manager said, when asked if he felt relieved. "I have been involved in massive games but that is too close for comfort."
He also sounded like a man who wants to carry on but is unsure whether he will get the chance. "I hope so, that is what I want to do," Lambert said, when asked whether he senses he will be the Villa manager next season. "But you'll know when the chairman says what he is going to do. You would love to do it, it is a fantastic club, albeit the last couple of years has been tough. I think the chairman has said himself I have had to work within the parameters he has set between me and him. You either take the challenge on or bottle it."
In the end it all boils down to Lerner's plans. "I respect the chairman's statement and what he is going to say," Lambert said. "It will bring clarity and it will not be a problem, whatever way he wants to play it himself. I will respect his decision, no problem with that whatsoever. Randy is a really top guy and I've said before, it is his club."
Whatever happens at Villa Park in the summer, whether Lerner ends up staying, another American investor comes in or anyone else takes over, the Midlands club needs to rethink its strategy on and off the field after four successive years fighting relegation. Something is fundamentally wrong when it keeps happening season after season and, in terms of the manager, Lambert has not exactly put forward a compelling case to suggest he is capable of lifting Villa out of that rut.
The Scot declined the opportunity to join the "lap of appreciation" after the final whistle, saying: "The most important people at this club are the players and supporters."
A few others might have kept a low profile if Villa had suffered an 11th home league defeat of the season but that never looked likely on a day when Hull City played with one eye on the FA Cup final against Arsenal on 17 May. Ashley Westwood opened the scoring after only 58 seconds and although Hull equalised through Jordan Bowery's own goal, Villa were 3-1 up before the interval when the impressive Andreas Weimann punished some poor defending with two headers in the space of four minutes.
The silver lining for Steve Bruce was that Hull are now guaranteed a place in the Europa League next season.
"Look, on an awful day, if somebody had said to me two years ago that we'd get promoted, were virtually secure of Premier League status, in an FA Cup final and get to Europe, they could carry me away in a white van in white coats," the Hull manager said. "It's quite remarkable – but we'd not last long in Europe if we play like that."
Man of the match Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)