Kieran Richardson determined to keep place in Aston Villa side under Remi Garde

Kieran Richardson

The veteran left-back has started the club's past four games after beginning the season as Jordan Amavi's backup.

With new manager Remi Garde expected to ring the changes at Aston Villa, Kieran Richardson has told AVTV that he is determined to hold on to his starting spot.

Richardson, 31, established himself as Villa’s first-choice left-back during last season’s run-in, starting eight of Tim Sherwood’s 16 games in charge, but the £10 million signing of Jordan Amavi from Nice in the summer left his future at the club in doubt.

The utility man ultimately stayed in the Midlands past the transfer window but only made one 12-minute substitute appearance over the first eight Premier League games of this term, as his French counterpart proceeded to earn rave reviews for his performances.

However, he ended up earning a shock recall to the line-up over Amavi for last month’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, and despite flattering to deceive on the afternoon, has since earned four straight starts under the now departed Sherwood and caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald.

 
Premier LeagueAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyTotal TacklesTackle AccuracyInterceptionsAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Amavi 2015-16 2 7 79% 38 13% 52 36% 36 83% 33 9 746
Kieran Richardson Post-Lambert 0 2 71% 18 17% 7 13% 19 74% 13 10 748

With former Lyon manager Garde arriving at the club on Monday, though, the ex-Manchester United man could well be facing another extended spell on the bench.

Currently preparing for Sunday’s visit of Manchester City, the new boss is already fully familiar with compatriot Amavi from his time coaching in Ligue 1, and it would be no surprise to see him back in the starting XI to face the league leaders as a result.

Nevertheless, while fans are desperate to see the France Under-21 international reinstated, Richardson has no intention of giving up his place without a fight and sees Garde’s appointment as a chance to make a great first impression.

“At the beginning of the season I didn’t really feature for whatever reason but the last few weeks I’ve got back into the team,” Richardson told AVTV. “I’ll never stop working hard and when my chance comes I just try and take it.

“Any time a new manager comes in everyone starts a fresh new page. Everyone wants to prove themselves. Players who haven’t started or who haven’t been in the squad will think it’s a new opportunity for them – which it will be – and I’m sure training will be fiery.

“Everyone’s looking to start and show they want to play, and hopefully the team can give the manager a headache.”

Richardson, who originally joined Villa on a two-year deal from Fulham in July 2014, is also one of the most experienced members of the squad and intends to show Garde that he can be a leader both on the pitch and in the dressing room going forward.

“When I’m on the pitch I try to lead the team and help the other players,” he added. “Obviously some of the younger players haven’t got that experience and there might be certain situations that they don’t know how to handle.

“It’s important that we do that for me because one time I was like that. I had the likes of Gary Neville and other senior players helping me out, which was great.”

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