A dreary display saw Remi Garde's men thumped 4-0 in Saturday's game at Goodison Park.
Aston Villa team captain Micah Richards has admitted that his side “didn’t turn up” as Remi Garde’s second game in charge saw the Premier League's basement dwellers slump to a dismal 4-0 defeat at Everton.
Richards was speaking to AVTV after the match at Goodison Park, where whatever positives were taken from Garde’s debut as Villa manager against Manchester City earlier this month swiftly evaporated over the course of the first half.
A 0-0 home draw with the then league leaders prior to the international break had led to renewed optimism about the club’s survival chances going into Saturday’s game, but the new boss was given a stark reminder of the task he faces inside the opening 42 minutes as the hosts raced to a 3-0 lead through Ross Barkley’s brace and a Romelu Lukaku strike.
Villa managed to shore things up somewhat after the break following Carlos Sanchez’s introduction, but Lukaku added his second just before the hour to compound more misery on the visitors and leave them rooted to the bottom of the table with just five points from 13 games.
Richards himself had arguably his worst game for the club since arriving in July on a free transfer, as Everton’s attack beat him for pace time and time again, and the skipper conceded afterwards that the scoreline could have looked even worse.
“We just got beaten by a better team,” he told AVTV. “We didn’t turn up. I thought we sat a little bit deep and they just picked us off. They’ve got some good players in their team. If you give them time, you get hurt, and that’s what happened today.
“I think we rode our luck a couple of weeks ago against Man City with them hitting the bar and [Brad] Guzan making some great saves, but today they were a better team and deserved to win.
“The manager’s come in and tried to put his philosophy across but we’re still learning. I think we defended well against Man City but today we just gave their key players a little bit too much time on the ball, and that hurt us.”
Villa are without a league win in 12 games since beating Bournemouth 1-0 on the opening day of the season, while their current tally of five points after 13 matches is their worst return in any of their previous top-flight campaigns
Currently sitting five points from safety, they now host 13th-placed Watford next Saturday in what some have been quick to label a must-win game, but Richards insists that there are still more than enough points left on the table at this stage of the season.
“It’s a massive game but they’re all big,” he added. “If you looked at the fixtures, everyone probably thought we’d lose against City and maybe get a result today, but it’s been the other way around.
“There are plenty more games so we’re not going to get too down on ourselves, but I thought we should have done a lot better than that [against Everton].”