David James believes Aston Villa can still avoid relegation and can't afford slipping into this mindset

Aston Villa are currently 10 points adrift of safety but their former goalkeeper believes they can attain safety.

BT Sport pundit and former Aston Villa goalkeeper David James has said he believes the side can get out of their current predicament, and said they should not be of the mindset of preparing for the Championship next season.

Villa are currently 10 points adrift from the safety zone and are best priced 1/20 to be relegated from the Premier League this season having only managed the two wins from their 23 games so far.

The season saw Tim Sherwood sacked and Remi Garde appointed as the manager halfway through the season but fortunes haven't improved that much, but a recent run of form has seen Villa pick up a few points with a win over Crystal Palace along with draws against Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion, and things have tightened up a little at the back as they search for some momentum to take them out of the relegation zone.

James feels they owe it to both themselves and the rest of the league not to be defeatist and aim for survival.

Speaking to HITC Sport ahead of their trip to West Ham United, James said: "I think if you look at the view that they should prepare for the Championship – that defeatist attitude – it's not only doing themselves a disservice, it's doing the rest of the Premier League a disservice if you've got a side that aren't prepared to be fighting every match – effectively giving teams some advantages by giving them points.

"You look at their current league form compared to the rest of the season and it has picked up. Draws against the likes of West Brom and Leicester are very good results on their own – standalone results – but it's a time now were Villa need wins.

"I think Remi Garde has shown - I'm not sure it's the change of personnel or whatever - that there's potential; a draw against Leicester, a side that are absolutely flying at the moment, a draw against West Brom which is traditionally a very tough game, they must take heart from that and think 'there's an opportunity here, albeit it's a very tough one, but we're in for a tough game'. It's the points at the end of the season not the points at Christmas that matter with regards to relegation and promotion."

It would take a huge effort for Villa to turn their season around and retain their top flight status come May. Strange things have happened in this league this season, and a couple of wins could see them close the gap a little on the sides above them. A good result against West Ham feels like a must.

‘Watch West Ham United vs Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League live on BT Sport 1 from 7:45pm on Tuesday 2 February. Visit btsport.com

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