Remi Garde tackles talk of a split in Aston Villa's dressing room

Rémi Garde

Several of the club's senior players are reportedly unhappy with the 49-year-old Frenchman's training methods and man management.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has dismissed reports of a dressing room split at the club and insists that he has a good relationship with the entire squad.

Villa currently sit eight points from safety at the foot of the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester City, having won just three of their 28 games and scored a division-low 22 goals.

Reports in the wake of Tuesday night’s 3-1 home defeat to Everton have claimed that the Villa players are now divided into two camps over their opinion of Garde, with some said to dislike his training methods and the fact that he often fails to speak to them after games [h/t Telegraph].

However, after having a heart-to-heart with captain Micah Richards following the Everton loss, the Frenchman is confident that his squad are united in their fight against relegation.

Asked at his pre-match press conference before tomorrow’s game at the Etihad Stadium about the reports, Garde said: "I'm surprised that this kind of stuff goes out because I strongly believe it is not the case simply because I had the captain of the team, Micah, in my office after the last game.

"We had a private chat. I don't want to say exactly what was going on, but to sum up, it was the exactly opposite of what you're saying. A few weeks ago nobody was speaking about that.

"All of a sudden, when you lose a game in football everything is strange. To be fair, I don't know exactly what has been coming out or what people are reading or listening.

"But some of the stuff that has been reported is completely wrong. Once again this is football, when you lose games you have to deal with problems that don't even exist."

Garde did concede, however, that there is a rift growing between the fans and the club after witnessing the protests at the Everton game.

A sizeable number of supporters walked out on the 74th-minute of the loss – the time chosen to reflect Villa’s formation in 1874 – to express their anger towards ownership over the team’s severe decline, and the former Arsenal midfielder can understand their frustration.

“It was a strange feeling,” he added at his press conference. “Normally I’m more focused on the game but it’s a symbol of all the problems that currently Aston Villa is facing.

"Fans come to Villa Park to see their team winning and as long as we are not winning, there is probably a split between the fans, me and the team because I am with the team, but this is the way football is going."

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