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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Remi Garde considers Aston Villa changes after "painful" loss to Watford

Remi Garde admits Aston Villa's defence is a problem
Remi Garde admits Aston Villa's defence is a problem

Remi Garde is contemplating changes in a bid to plug Aston Villa's leaky defence after a "painful" defeat at home to Watford.

Garde's reign as manager got off to a positive start with a clean sheet and a very creditable goalless draw at home to Manchester City at the beginning of the month.

But since the Barclays Premier League resumed after the international break Villa have suffered successive defeats to Everton and Watford, conceding seven goals in the process.

Villa were awful last weekend at Goodison Park where they were three goals behind at half-time before eventually losing 4-0 and despite a much improved all-round performance on Saturday, Watford exposed their defensive frailties once more with a 3-2 victory at Villa Park.

Garde admitted it was "painful" viewing against the Hornets and was clearly frustrated by Alan Hutton's "silly" own goal midway through the second half which surrendered the initiative and presented Watford with a 2-1 lead.

Villa remain bottom of the Premier League and without a win since the opening day of the season and Garde could look to try to remedy that by making changes at the back for the trip to Southampton next weekend.

"I have some possibilities so I will have a look (at making changes) but I don't know for the moment," said Garde, who has Jores Okore available after injury for the first time since the FA Cup final and will soon have Tiago Ilori competing for a spot in defence too.

"I have many players who can play also at the back, not too many in all positions. But some are possibilities for me, I will see.

"It is not always individuals though, it is sometimes collective. But also as individuals, for sure, they have to improve their level.

"That is not a criticism, it is a fact. Everybody has to improve his level and the team will be better.

"We want so much to score that we gave the opportunity to counter-attack too easily.

"The first goal was the most difficult to digest for me because it is not a question of tactics, it is just a question of clearing the ball in front of your box and we have to learn from that."

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores made his own defensive switch for the game at Villa Park, handing Juan Carlos Paredes his first Premier League start in place of Ikechi Anya.

It was a surprise move by the Spaniard but Sanchez Flores explained the importance of his squad will come to the fore over the coming weeks.

"Anya has played every game this season and sometimes players have to rest a little bit and watch the match from the bench," he said.

"Paredes has played very well and in the last five matches he has been playing 20 minutes and his performances have improved our system.

"So this was the moment for him to play. It was the same for (Nathan) Ake and for (Adlene) Guedioura. We need options.

"We can't play the whole season with just 13 players. We need 17 players ready if we want to keep going."

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