Aston Villa midfielder Carlos Sanchez relishing role in Remi Garde's side

The 29-year-old Colombian has already been singled out by his new boss as a key player for Villa's survival bid.

Having been praised by Remi Garde for his strength and physicality this week, Aston Villa’s Carlos Sanchez has told AVTV that he is relishing the chance to nail down the holding midfield role in his new manager’s side.

Sanchez, 29, has made 45 total appearances for Villa since signing from Spanish club Elche in August 2014 for a reported £4.7 million fee, having impressed during Colombia’s run to the World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil.

The 62-times capped international has been somewhat inconsistent during his time in England so far, and failed establish himself as a regular starter under either former boss Paul Lambert or predecessor Tim Sherwood as a result, but his fortunes now look set to change with Garde’s arrival.

The former Lyon manager's first game in charge against Manchester City earlier this month saw the tough-tackling veteran put in an impressive shift from the start, as Villa held the then Premier League leaders to a 0-0 home draw to end a seven-game losing streak in the top-flight.

A late return from international duty meant he began last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Everton on the bench, but his half-time introduction helped shore things up for the visitors after going 3-0 down inside the first 42 minutes.

Garde has subsequently admitted that the team desperately missed Sanchez during the opening 45 minutes, and having also highlighted how he offers more on the defensive side of the ball than his midfield teammates, the ex-La Liga star is hoping to play a big role in the Frenchman's plans going forward.

“Because it is a new boss that joins and he utilises you in both games, it is important for confidence,” he told AVTV. “I know my role. I know I can give a lot to the club. I believe one of my qualities is that I give everything to the club because I’m convinced that if the club is better, I will be better.

“It’s more about the collective aspect than the individual aspect. I’m playing for my teammates, I’m playing for the club, and in the end everyone will be happy.”

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesTackle AccuracyDuels WonDuel SuccessInterceptionsBall RecoveriesAppearancesMins Played
Carlos Sánchez 0 0 1 81% 33 64% 57 56% 19 57 10 647

Villa currently sit bottom of the Premier League going into Saturday’s home game against Watford, having taken just five points from 13 matches and gone without a win since beating Bournemouth 1-0 in their season opener.

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

Nevertheless, Sanchez insists that the team are better than their league position suggests, and with 25 games left, believes they have more than enough quality in their ranks to avoid the drop under Garde.

“To be honest, the match against City was a very good match, against the team at the top of the league,” he added. “The second [against Everton] was, let’s say, the opposite because we lost with a tough result.

“But we have to be positive, we have to be united. I think we have the quality in the team to stay in the Premier League. Each of us has to give 100 per cent in training and in games so that it changes.”

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