Sunday 23 October 2016

Eric Black knows the writing is on the wall for Aston Villa

Published 09/04/2016 | 21:26

Eric Black says
Eric Black says "the fans have every right to voice their opinions"

Caretaker manager Eric Black conceded relegation is inevitable with Aston Villa on the brink of dropping out of the Barclays Premier League.

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Steve Cook and Josh King scored to give Bournemouth a deserved 2-1 win on Saturday and Villa's demotion could be confirmed on Sunday.

Sunderland could send them down if they beat Leicester because their game with Norwich next week means Villa would not be able to catch one of them to survive.

Whatever the result at Carrow Road at least one side will take points and take them out of Villa's reach.

They are bottom of the table, 15 points from safety with just five games left having lost eight straight matches, and with their first relegation since 1987 looming Black knows they cannot escape.

"It's been a difficult year for everyone. We're not relegated as yet but we're not far off. It's not been in the last month it has happened and it's now looking irreversible," he said, after Norwich's 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace gave Villa a stay of execution.

"We have to be professional until the end. I will certainly do that. We have five very difficult games coming up against some of the best teams in the world.

"It's not a great state of affairs but we have go go again Monday morning. We don't have a choice and we have to get something back into this wonderful club."

Villa supporters also jeered their side from the kick off and Black understood their views.

He said: "I looked at some stats which showed we have won 18 or 19 home games in 80 which is four-and-a-half games a season. That doesn't get the fans jumping up and down filling you with confidence.

"The fans have every right to voice their opinions and if I was one of them I don't think I would be jumping up and down. The time has come for the club to give something back to the fans now.

"The fans have no criticism from me, they voice their opinions and have every right to but the club now have to take a stance and give something back."

Bournemouth moved onto 41 points to all but seal survival during an impressive debut Premier League despite Jordan Ayew scoring late on for Villa.

And boss Eddie Howe admitted victory was vital ahead of games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United in the run-in.

"It feels really good, we have been disappointed with how we played in the previous two games and we knew the importance of today when you look at the rest of our fixtures," he said.

"That was reflected in our performance. It was a game of few chances but luckily we took ours when they came.

"The togetherness been at the core of all our success. We have a squad of players who have given absolutely everything. They have devoted their careers to self improvement. "

Striker Callum Wilson also returned as an injury-time substitute having been out since September with a serious knee injury.

Howe added: "It was a big moment for everyone, he has been a pivotal part of our success . He started so well in the Premier League and looked like he had the world at his feet. It's a true test of character and he has done everything right."

Press Association

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