Remi Garde says Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor's fitness issues were his main problem

Gabriel Agbonlahor fell out of favour at Aston Villa during Remi Garde's initial time in charge.

Remi Garde has told FourFourTwo that the main problem he had with Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor was the striker’s fitness levels.

The Daily Mirror suggested that Garde and Agbonlahor had fallen out in the French boss’s initial time at Villa Park.

However, Garde has suggested that he never had a problem with the rapid striker’s attitude, and that it was just the 29-year-old’s fitness which was keeping him out of the team.

"He was not available for me for a long time because of injuries," Garde insisted. "It was the main problem with Gabby.

"As soon as he has been available he has been playing for the team.

"I'm pleased that he's back on the track, for the team and for us, and scoring was very important probably for him because I know when you are a striker and you are not scoring for a long, long time it's very painful.”

Agbonlahor has now started Villa’s last two matches, and he returned his manager’s faith last weekend.

The attacker scored Villa’s second goal in their victory over Norwich City, after Joleon Lescott had put the Midlands side into the lead.

It was the first goal that Agbonlahor had scored in 12 appearances in all competitions this term. 

Villa’s win over Norwich has raised spirits around Villa Park, but they still have a lot of work to do if they are to have any chance of survival.

The Claret and Blues are currently eight points away from safety, with their next fixture coming against Liverpool on Sunday.

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