Remi Garde addresses reports of Aston Villa's defeat to their U21s

Carlo Ancelotti with Remi Garde

Garde reportedly watched a number of senior players lose 3-0 to a youthful line-up in a training match last week.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has expressed his frustration that details of his side’s training match defeat to the club’s Under-21s were leaked to the media.

Villa’s first-team reportedly lost 3-0 to a youthful XI at Bodymoor Heath last Friday, less than a week after suffering a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool.

The news unsurprisingly saw the Premier League bottom-dwellers ridiculed by the likes of rival fans and sections of the press, but Garde has insisted that far too much was made of the result.

Speaking at Thursday’s pre-match press conference ahead of facing Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, the Frenchman said: “First of all, this is something which should have stayed within the walls of Bodymoor Heath

“And secondly, it was a much reduced view of what happened. I don’t want to explain too much, but it was not just an Under-21s team against a first-team.

“Nowadays in every country and every football club it’s every difficult to keep information inside. I have to deal with that, but I’d prefer if it stayed within the walls here.”

Nevertheless, the ex-Lyon boss did note that he was disappointed by how some of his senior players performed in the behind-closed-doors friendly, adding: “I don’t want to say more, but like in every training session, I have to say that some of the players I saw that day didn’t show me their best.”

Villa currently sit eight points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League with only 12 games remaining, having recorded just three wins and scored a division-low 20 goals.

With relegation now looking all but inevitable, some have argued that Garde should start to give a few of the youngsters who played for the Under-21s in last Friday’s training match a chance to show what they can do in the first-team, but the Frenchman thinks that throwing them into a relegation battle would do more harm than good.

“I don’t think to be fair that I saw many young players that could help us, especially in this kind of situation where the pressure is so high,” Garde said at his press conference. “Aston Villa is playing not be relegated.

“The pressure is very high and I’m not sure I saw players in this academy gifted enough mentally, technically or physically to help the first-team to be safe.”

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