Remi Garde issues message to Aston Villa fans

Rémi Garde

The ex-Lyon manager takes charge of his first game on Sunday when Manchester City visit Villa Park.

New Aston Villa manager Remi Garde believes that the support of the claret and blue faithful can prove crucial towards his side’s efforts to turn around their dismal form.

Garde, 49, was speaking to AVTV ahead of his first game in charge against Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday at Villa Park, having signed a three-year deal to replace the sacked Tim Sherwood earlier in the week.

The ex-Lyon boss was watching from the stands at White Hart Lane on Monday night just hours after his appointment as caretaker Kevin MacDonald oversaw his side’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur, and he was left under no illusions about the task he faces after seeing them fall to seventh successive top-flight defeat.

The 3-1 loss kept Villa bottom of the table with just four points from 11 games, and having gone without a league victory since winning 1-0 at Bournemouth on the opening day of the season, Garde stresses that they will need the full backing of the fans amid their bid to climb out of trouble over the coming weeks and months.

“When you play football you want to play in a full stadium,” said the Frenchman, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Villa. “In order to have that you need to behave in a certain way. I’m not too scared about that because I haven’t seen players who are cheating or lazy – that’s not the problem at the moment for the team.

“We are going to work hard, be smart and clever on the pitch. I know the passion around English football and I know how demanding it is.

“We have to work hard together, and I hope that the Villa fans will be behind the team because I know it’s very important for the players, especially when you have so many new players coming from abroad – they need to be supported by the fans.”

Garde’s only previous managerial experience came at Lyon between 2011 and 2014, where he won the French Cup and achieved fourth place, third place and fifth place finishes in Ligue 1, respectively, before opting to leave the club following the 2013-14 season.

While he was working under tight financial restrictions in France, the situation at Villa will present an even tougher challenge in the immediate future, but the ex-Arsenal midfielder insists that he saw enough positives during the Tottenham defeat to be encouraged about his new side’s survival chances.

“The key is the result,” he added. “But, of course, we were close. We hit the post ten minutes before scoring so it could have been a draw and the spirit I saw on the field is quite encouraging for me.

“I’m going to work on that and I think and hope that we can improve in different ways. It’s a very short time before the next game on Sunday – I know that – but if I can get a bit more from the players we can do it.”

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