Remi Garde has told the Birmingham Mail that he has improved Aston Villa’s squad’s fitness levels since taking charge.
Garde took over at Villa Park back in November, following the dismissal of Tim Sherwood, and he has failed to win any of his first six matches in charge.
However, the French boss insists that the squad have progressed under his leadership.
"You have a lot of duels in English football," he said. "The pace of the game is high. I feel we have improved a lot in terms of fitness."
Sherwood left Villa after the side made a disastrous start to the campaign, which left them at the foot of the Premier League table.
Garde’s appointment was meant to be the catalyst that sparked the Midlands outfit into life, but his arrival has not had the desired impact.
Villa have still looked short of confidence, and they have only collected three points from their last six outings.
The Villains are now winless in 15 league matches, and they are 10 points adrift of safety – with their chances of retaining their Premier League status looking very slim.