Eric Black admits Aston Villa will struggle to win back support of fans

The caretaker manager understands the anger and "disconnect" of supporters after such a season.

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black has told BBC Sport that he can understand the anger and "disconnect" from fans towards the club and admits he does not know how supporters can be won over again.

Villa crashed to a 22nd Premier League defeat of the season with a 4-0 loss to Chelsea at Villa Park on Saturday to leave the club on the brink of having their relegation to the Championship confirmed.

That was the 10th time in 16 home league matches that the club's fans have watched their side lose, and the club's plight and apparent lack of fight has intensified the unrest from supporters week after week.

Black, who took over from Remi Garde last week after the Frenchman was sacked less than six months after being appointed, is fully aware that there is good reason for the fans to show their anger.

He admitted that the players have not shown enough heart in recent weeks, and stressed that it is their prerogative to do everything possible to try to win back the faith of their supporters.

Asked if Villa could win fans over again, Black told BBC Sport: "It's got to happen, and it will. How quickly, I don't know. When the team is bottom of the league, I can understand the disconnect with the supporters.

"We have to give the supporters something, not the other way round. It's been a hard season for them. The fans need to see some kind of effort, there was a certain amount of that, but the quality lets the players down. You would have to ask the players if they have shown enough fight.

"I've spoken to them. We are professionals and we needed to be professional and I've outlined that. We need to continue to work hard to get this club back to where it should be."

A big issue for Villa now is that things are likely to continue to get worse before they can get better again, with the club completely unaccustomed to life outside the top flight after almost 30 years without being relegated.

The club can go some way to appeasing fans with a good managerial appointment and astute business in the transfer market, but will be a long road to redemption after the damage done this season.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch