Ray Wilkins says this showed that Aston Villa would have survived under Tim Sherwood

Villa's former assistant believes the fact that the club were not getting thrashed this season under Sherwood shows they had the resilience to survive.

Former Aston Villa assistant manager Ray Wilkins has told talkSPORT that the club would not have been relegated under Tim Sherwood because they were not surrendering to opponents in the way they did under Remi Garde.

Sherwood was sacked 10 games into the season after failing to secure a victory since the 1-0 win on the opening day of the season at Bournemouth, losing eight of the nine matches after that day.

However, the biggest defeat Sherwood's Villa suffered in that time was a 2-0 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with every other defeat coming by the margin of just a single goal.

Under Sherwood's replacement Garde, Villa lost 12 of 20 fixtures, including a 6-0 thrashing at home to Liverpool, the club's heaviest home defeat since 1935, and 4-0 reverses at Manchester City and Everton.

Wilkins, who served as Sherwood's assistant from last summer until the former Tottenham Hotspur manager's dismissal in late October, insists the small margins of defeat under the pair show that the club would have had every fighting chance of staying up if they had not been sacked.

When asked by talkSPORT if he and Sherwood could have kept the club up, he responded: "Yes, I believe we could have done. We never got trounced. We never got badly beaten. I think we were just on the brink of doing really well.

"We played some very tough opponents in the early stages of the season and we’re probably one of the only teams who had the opportunity to beat Leicester.

"I honestly feel that with the staff and the players we had that we could have staved off relegation."

Wilkins comments are likely to irk Villa fans, who will not have forgotten how under Sherwood in May, albeit before the assistant's arrival, the club conceded six goals in the first half at Southampton and handed Arsenal a 4-0 walkover in the FA Cup final.

Then there is the mention of giving Leicester a run for their money; Villa were 2-0 up at the King Power Stadium in September with just 19 minutes remaining but collapsed to lose 3-2, something many supporters blamed on ill-advised substitutions from Sherwood.

Though Villa sacked Garde at the end of last month after a run of six defeats in a row, it had little immediate impact as the club sank to another lifeless defeat with a 4-0 home thrashing by Chelsea on Saturday.

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