Aston Villa's players continue to suggest they are fighting for survival but it does not look like it.
In a recent interview with the club’s official website, Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gana explained that he and his teammates would keep fighting for their Premier League future despite currently being bottom of the league, nine points clear of safety with just nine matches remaining.
The problem is Villa fans have heard it all before, with every new soundbite saying the same thing: that the players care, that they are upset by claims to the contrary, that they will fight to the last for their top-flight survival.
But those words are sounding increasingly hollow with each flat performance that invariably follows.
It would be one thing if Villa were delivering on the field but falling short regardless. However, more often than not they have capitulated with little more than a damp squib and their supporters would be forgiven for dismissing the interviews that continue to come out suggesting next week will be different.
The truth is these Villa players are stuck in a rut and relegation is a certainty, with manager Remi Garde failing to turn things around despite having more than enough talent in his squad.
The rot is deep and rather than saying how much they are willing to fight, Villa’s players should avoid the interviewers and let their football do the talking.
That may not happen until next season now, but in the interim many of these men are playing for their Villa future and how much they want to remain could be seen in the weeks ahead…