Remi Garde discusses whether he will be making changes to Aston Villa's defence against Watford

Rémi Garde

Villa's 4-0 defeat at Everton last weekend was their heaviest loss of the season.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has insisted that he will not be making drastic changes to his side’s defence for Saturday’s visit of Watford, despite seeing a shaky backline ship four goals at Everton last weekend.

Last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to the Toffees was Villa’s heaviest loss of the season, as Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku grabbed two goals apiece to leave the visitors rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

Left-back Kieran Richardson, who came into the line-up after Jordan Amavi’s season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury, was given a particularly torrid time by Blues winger Gerard Deulofeu, while Micah Richards’ undisciplined performance at centre-half has led to further calls for him to be moved to the right-hand side of defence.

With Jores Okore now back fully fit after undergoing knee surgery in the summer and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori close to shaking off a groin strain, Villa do have fresh options to come into the side for this weekend, but Garde insists that there will be no overreaction to the Everton loss when it comes to picking his starting XI.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Frenchman said: “When you concede a goal, it’s not only the fault of the four defenders or the goalkeeper – it’s the whole team. For me, it’s a collective problem we have to solve, and we work on that during the week.

“Everyone has been training together throughout the week. I really appreciate having all my squad for the training sessions. We have been working hard.

“I am still very pleased with the way we train, the way they are committed in the training sessions. I know it's quite new, the way we train and the exercises we are doing in the sessions, because every manager has his own way of training.

“They have settled in very well in terms of what I have been asking of them.”

Villa’s current tally of five points from 13 games is their worst return in any of their previous top-flight campaigns, while a five-point gap separates them from 17th-placed Newcastle United.

They are also without a league win in 12 matches since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth and go into the Watford clash having taken just one point from their past nine fixtures.

Saturday’s meeting with the top-flight new boys has been billed as a prime opportunity to end their winless run, but with the Hornets sitting in 13th-place in the table following a solid start to the season, Garde is expecting a tough matchup.

“I know that everyone expects us to win the game - and I'm the first one and the players also,” he added at his press conference. “But I am not expecting to have an easy game because if you look at the Watford results until now, they have done very well away from home.

“It shows you how good they are. I think they are still in a positive mood since they have been promoted to the Premier League.

“We want to, of course, win this game. We are going to try and do it in the way we want, but we will also accept a victory in the last minute, no problem with that."

“The first minutes will be very important for everyone but the result at the end will be more important.”

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch