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Garde claims Villa squad 'not fit enough'


Remi Garde (PA)

Remi Garde (PA)

Remi Garde (PA)

Remi Garde claims his Aston Villa squad were not fit enough when he took charge.

The boss has made changes to training at Bodymoor Heath since replacing Tim Sherwood in November.

Villa parted company with two fitness coaches brought in under Sherwood soon after Garde's November arrival as ex-Villa fitness coach Robert Duverne, who worked under Gerard Houllier, returned.

Of his current players it is understood Charles N'Zogbia and Gabby Agbonlahor - two players who could be sold next month - need to do more at Bodymoor to convince Garde.

Asked whether his new side were not fit enough he said: "Yes, I felt that but I don't want to judge what happened before.

"It was just my feeling that we could improve a little bit more in this area of the game because it's very important in this country.

"You have a lot of duels and the rhythm and the pace is very high and I feel we have improved a lot.

"When I arrived someone told me that the team was last in terms of running on statistics.

"I am not very keen on statistics because they can say one thing and you can find another statistic to prove the opposite so I am very careful with stats.

"But nevertheless you have to look at it and I know that we have improved in this area."

Garde is looking at new players he trusts to join Villa's survival fight in January and is keen on Bordeaux winger Wahbi Khazri.