Kieran Richardson backs Remi Garde to spark Aston Villa into life

The ex-Lyon boss will take charge of his first game as Villa manager on Sunday when Manchester City visit the Midlands.

Aston Villa left-back Kieran Richardson is backing new manager Remi Garde to spark fresh life into the Premier League's basement dwellers.

Richardson, 31, was speaking to AVTV after getting to train under Garde for the first time since the former Lyon boss replaced Tim Sherwood at the helm on Monday on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The Frenchman now faces the daunting task of reviving a side that sits bottom of the table with just four points from 11 games amid a run of seven straight defeats, and has not won a league game since beating Bournemouth 1-0 in their season opener.

Nevertheless, Richardson is convinced that the team are not far from turning a corner and believes Garde’s arrival can be the necessary catalyst to kick-start their campaign.

“Obviously the new manager’s come in and we’re looking forward to getting underway and starting fresh with him,” Richardson told AVTV. “I’m sure over the next few weeks we’ll get to know him a bit better, and him likewise, and hopefully we can get some results.

“I don’t think our passion was ever in question. We always try our best and we’ll continue to do that. Hopefully the new manager brings in some new ideas and a philosophy that can help us get the results we need to move higher up the league.

“We’ve only played 11 games but everyone thinks we’re going to go down. In house, we don’t think that. We’re a very confident group of lads and hopefully we can get through it.

“We’ve got a new manager and hopefully we can get a little spark going.”

Sunday’s visit of league leaders Manchester City presents a decidedly tough challenge for Garde’s first game in charge, but with the fans expected to turn out in full to welcome their new manager, Richardson is adamant that their support can spur the hosts on to their first top-flight win since 8 August.

“I’m sure it’ll be a fiery game,” the utility man added. “It’s obviously the new manager’s first game and the fans will be unbelievable, as they usually are. I’m sure the place will be rocking. Hopefully we can get something out of the game and kick-start our season.”

Whether Richardson features on the afternoon remains to be seen, though.

After establishing himself as Sherwood’s first-choice left-back during last season’s run-in, the former Fulham man saw Jordan Amavi’s summer arrival leave him out of favour over the opening stages of this term, before he was brought back into the line-up for last month’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea – much to the surprise of fans.

He has since started four straight games, but with Garde more than familiar with fellow Frenchman Amavi from his time in Ligue 1, most expect the £10 million signing from Nice to reclaim his place in the side before long.

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