Thursday 8 December 2016

Remi Garde planning clear-out to freshen up Villa squad

Jamie Holland

Published 25/12/2015 | 02:30

Remi Garde
Remi Garde

Remi Garde is ready for a post-Christmas clear out at Aston Villa.

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The boss wants to change his squad after admitting it is not healthy to have players out of the picture at Bodymoor Heath.

Long-serving Gabby Agbonlahor could leave while Libor Kozak, Charles N'Zogbia, Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos are also likely to go.

Agbonlahor, who made his Villa debut in 2006, has played just one minute under Garde and has not scored since March.

Leicester's Gokhan Inler and Bordeaux winger Wahbi Khazri interest Garde (pictured) but he is also prepared to let players leave.

Ahead of tomorrow's visit of West Ham he said: "There are some players who are here who haven't been playing for a long time and I think it's not very healthy for the the group or for themselves.

"As a player you want to play and I can understand they are frustrated and they are not happy about their situation. We will have to find a solution.

"I can't tell you how many players but there are a few."

The squad trained this morning before spending the rest of the day at home with Garde hopeful a relaxed atmosphere will inspire a result.

The Hammers have drawn their last three games 0-0 but Garde recognises they will be a tough hurdle to overcome.

"I don't believe too much in gifts, we don't have to rely on anyone else but us," he said.

"It is (winnable), like every home game, but West Ham are very solid. They don't conceded any goals, the good news is they didn't score but they're a tough team.

"They are very efficient away. They are fourth if you have the table only on away games.

"They are also very dangerous on the counter attack. We need to find the right balance, playing a home game but to be very aware of the counter. They have quick players."

Garde, who replaced Tim Sherwood in November, is attempting to somehow galvanise a relegation-haunted Villa side that lies 10 points from safety.

Villa's only Premier League victory so far this campaign came on the opening day of the season against newly promoted Bournemouth and they have scored only 14 goals from 17 league matches.

Irish Independent

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