Remi Garde responds to questions about his future at Aston Villa

Rémi Garde

The 49-year-old Frenchman has recently been linked with a return to former club Lyon as Villa struggle to stave off relegation.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has insisted that he is not planning to quit the club in the summer amid reports linking him with a return to France.

Garde replaced Tim Sherwood as Villa boss in November with the team sitting bottom of the Premier League, but there has been little sign of progress since.

The Frenchman has won just two of his 18 top-flight games in charge to leave the club nine points adrift of safety at the foot of the table with only nine matches left, while he was reportedly left frustrated by the lack of backing from the board in the winter transfer window after failing to make a single signing [h/t The Telegraph].

The Daily Mirror claimed this week that the ex-Arsenal midfielder could now be set to return to former club Lyon in the summer despite having three years left on his deal, with Hull City boss Steve Bruce said to have been lined up as a potential replacement.

At the same time, new director Mervyn King, who is currently helping chairman Steve Hollis carry out a deep review of the club, also cast doubt over Garde’s long-term future with the claret and blues earlier this week when he told BBC Radio 5 Live [h/t Birmingham Mail]: “I think the question is does Remi Garde want to stay?”

Nonetheless, when asked by reporters at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur about King’s comments, Garde was quick to refute suggestions of a planned departure.

“My answer is I have a three-year contract and I never said I wanted to leave this football club,” he said. “At the top of the club there is a lot of questions, everybody is trying to understand why Villa is now in this bad position and what we can do to correct it.

“This is a question I have been asked by the people who are in charge of assessing what is wrong. I gave my opinion, but if you don’t mind, I can't tell you directly today.”

On whether he thought his side had progress during his four-and-a-half months in charge, Garde added: “I am not sure it's very impressive if there is progress because we are still bottom of the league.

“We had made progress in a period of time during January and since then we are struggling again to gain points.”

2015-16 Premier League ManagerGoals GAMETotal Shots GAMEShooting AccuracyScoring V Shooting AccuracyGoals Conceded GAMEOpp Shots GAMETotal Passes GAMEPossession PercentageAppearances
Aston Villa Sherwood/ MacDonald 0.91 11.18 25% 8% 1.82 13 411.91 49% 11
Aston Villa Garde 0.67 9.72 33% 7% 1.94 12.83 413.06 47% 18

Nevertheless, while relegation now looks all but inevitable to even the most optimistic fans, Garde remains adamant that Villa can still beat the drop.

High-flying Leicester City pulled off a dramatic escape from a fairly similar position last season after winning seven of their last nine matches, and the Villa manager does not want to rule out his side’s chances of doing the same when their relegation rivals are still dropping points.

“I’m not a political man, but yes we can," he told reporters. "If you look at Leicester last season, they started now to win seven games, so why not? Why couldn’t we do that?

“We’ve shown very poor football at times over the previous games, but the fact is in football that you never know how things can go. I still strongly believe that we can win many games before the end of the season.”

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