Remi Garde explains why he brought Eric Black to Aston Villa

Rémi Garde

The 52-year-old former Scotland international striker joined Villa as a first-team coach on Tuesday.

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde believes new first-team coach Eric Black’s vast experience can prove vital during the club’s efforts to retain their Premier League status.

Black joined Villa earlier this week after leaving his post as Neil Redfearn’s No. 2 at Rotherham United, where he had been working since last summer and had a one-game spell as caretaker manager in October following Steve Evans’ exit.

The 52-year-old Scot, who has managed both Motherwell and Coventry City, was assistant manager of Villa’s rivals Birmingham under Steve Bruce between 2004 and 2007 and later worked with the now-Hull boss again at Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.

More significantly, he also speaks fluent French after spending five seasons playing for Metz, and Garde is looking forward to working with him after hearing various recommendations from people on both sides of the Channel.

Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Manchester City whether he had ever worked with Black before, the Frenchman said: “Never, but he played a long time ago for Metz in France and in my network I have been told that he could be someone who could be very helpful to me.

“To be fair, I didn’t know him before – only his name because in France he was a well-known player at the time and that’s why as soon as I knew he could be available I met him.

"He brings experience. He has played at the highest level and has been in this business for many years now in this country, which is important for me.

“I had this opportunity with him and some long discussions with him and I felt he was the right guy to help me to help the team."

Garde has been working with assistant Reginald Ray and fitness coach Robert Duverne since replacing Tim Sherwood as Villa manager in November, while goalkeeping coach Tony Parks has also assumed a more hands-on role after being retained from the previous regime.

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