Remi Garde admits Rudy Gestede has found it difficult at Aston Villa lately

Rudy Gestede started his first match for Aston Villa since Remi Garde took charge against Southampton at the weekend.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has admitted to the Guardian that Rudy Gestede has found things difficult since he took charge.

Gestede has been handed limited opportunities under Garde’s stewardship, with most his initial appearances coming as a substitute.

However, the target-man was given a start during Villa’s most recent match against Southampton, and he helped his side claim a 1-1 draw.

And Garde said: "Rudy didn’t play a lot in previous weeks and it was not easy for him.

“When you are tall you need many training sessions to be fit. When you are small it’s easier to come in and start. I’m very pleased with the way Rudy coped. He was very helpful to the team, he held the ball up very well. The way he played with Jordan Ayew was also interesting.”

Gestede joined Villa from Blackburn Rovers during the summer transfer window, and he has shown signs of promise so far.

Although the 27-year-old hasn’t scored as many goals as Christian Benteke, who he was brought in to replace, he has still managed to cause a threat to defences on occasion.

Gestede has scored three goals in seven Premier League starts to date, but he will be keen to hit the back of the net with more frequency – as he looks to keep his place in Villa’s starting line-up.

Villa are in dire need to find a potent finisher, as they are currently sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table, and they are winless in their last 14 league matches.

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