The ex-Manchester City defender was brought to the club by the now departed manager in the summer.
According to the likes of Daily Mail, Sherwood was not responsible for most of Villa’s 12 new summer signings, as sporting director Hendrik Almstadt and director of recruitment Paddy Riley reportedly led the recruitment drive, but Richards was said to be an exception.
The 27-year-old defender joined the club on a four-year deal in July after leaving boyhood club Manchester City at the end of his contract and was appointment the team’s new skipper just a few weeks later after Fabian Delph moved in the opposite direction.
He has since proved arguably the club’s most consistent player this season, establishing himself as an ever-present in the Premier League, but his strong performances were still not enough to save Sherwood from the sack following a dismal start to the campaign.
Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City proved the final straw for the Villa board and the ex-Tottenham Hotspur head coach was shown the exit door the following morning with the club sitting bottom of the table amid a run of six straight top-flight defeats.
Nevertheless, while Sherwood had clearly lost the support of the club’s hierarchy, much of the dressing room was still seemingly behind him, with Richards adding that the players need to take responsibility for their current situation after taking just four points from their first 10 league games.
(1/2) Just want to thank the manager for everything he did during his time at the club.— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) October 26, 2015
(2/2) As players we also have to take responsibility and I'll always appreciate him bringing me to this great club #UTV— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) October 26, 2015
Villa now face a trip to Southampton in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, when youth team coach Kevin MacDonald will be in temporary charge as the board continue their search for a new manager for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
Former Lyon boss Remi Garde had been considered the front-runner but the latest reports suggest that talks with the ex-Arsenal midfielder have hit a stumbling block over his desired coaching staff [h/t Telegraph].
Bruno Genesio and Gerald Baticle are still working at Lyon and, with the French club currently refusing Villa permission to speak to them both, the claret and blues could well be forced to explore other options.