Jordan Ayew to use survival experience in Aston Villa's relegation battle

The summer signing from Lorient helped the Ligue 1 club escape the drop last season with his goals.

After helping save Ligue 1 club Lorient from relegation last season with his goalscoring exploits, Aston Villa striker Jordan Ayew has told AVTV how he is hoping to do exactly the same for the claret and blues.

The 24-year-old enjoyed a breakout 2014-15 campaign after joining the Brittany-based club from Marseille in the summer of 2014, netting a career-high 12 goals in 31 league appearances, while also adding seven assists.

Les Merlus were in danger of dropping out of the French top-flight with five games to go after sliding into the relegation zone following a 1-0 loss to Toulouse, but an impressive run of form saw them take eight points from their remaining fixtures to secure a 16th-place finish.

Ayew himself proved arguably the team’s most important player during that five-match spell, bagging three goals, including a brace in a dramatic 5-3 win at former side Marseille, and it now looks like he will have to produce similar heroics for Villa to stand a chance of retaining their Premier League status.

The club currently sit eight points from safety at the foot of the table going into Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United, having taken just six points from 16 games, and have not won a top-flight match since beating Bournemouth 1-0 in their season curtain-raiser

Performances have improved somewhat since Remi Garde replaced Tim Sherwood as manager last month, but with no Premier League club ever surviving the drop with so few points at this stage of the campaign, most have now pegged them as certainties to go down.

Nevertheless, Ayew has definitely not given up hope yet and believes that his experience at Lorient can help Villa stage what would be an historic escape act.

“I’ve been in this situation at Lorient, where we were battling against relegation and we made it maybe with three games to spare,” the Ghana international told AVTV. “Throughout my career, things have not really been easy for me.

“I’ve always had to battle and fight, and today is similar situation. I have the experience and I’m fine dealing with it – no problem.

“If you work hard, you will be rewarded, and I think at the moment we are all working hard.”

Premier League GoalsTotal ShotsShooting AccuracyAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Ayew 3 20 40% 0 5 82% 58 30% 12 858

Villa’s weekend opponents Newcastle also looked to be serious trouble just two weeks ago, but back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have since moved them 10 points ahead of Garde’s side into 15th-place.

Ayew believes that demonstrates just how quickly Villa could turn around their own situation over the coming weeks, adding: “It was difficult for Newcastle at the beginning, but they stuck together, worked hard and had some luck.

“Most of the goals they scored were down to luck – it’s all part of football. Our time is coming soon, because the way we’re working hard in training, things are going to change.

"The fans are suffering like us. I know it's difficult for them but I can promise them that things are going to change in a few weeks and they are going to see different things. There are better things coming for this club."

Ayew, who joined Villa from Lorient in July for around £8.5 million, certainly looks like the likeliest member of Garde’s squad to inspire that change at the moment, having recovered from a slow start to life in the Midlands to bag three goals in his past seven Premier League games.

The French-born Ghanaian has been the club’s standout performer in recent weeks, impressing with his pace, skill and work rate, but he will need better service going forward if he is going to replicate his exploits of last season.

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