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Sunday 18 March 2018

Remi Garde refutes suggestions of dressing room disharmony at Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde, pictured, replaced Tim Sherwood in November but has won just three games
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde, pictured, replaced Tim Sherwood in November but has won just three games

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde insists there is no rift within his squad as they fight for survival.

There have been suggestions of problems in the camp but Garde has strongly refuted the claims.

Bottom side Villa go to Manchester City on Saturday eight points from safety and look certain to be relegated from the Barclays Premier League.

But Garde insisted skipper Micah Richards came and spoke to him after Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Everton and assured him the players do not have issues with each other.

"I'm surprised this kind of stuff goes out because I strongly believe it is not the case simply because I had the captain of the team, Micah, in my office after the last game," he said.

"We had a private chat. I don't want to say exactly what was talked about but to sum it up it was the exact opposite of what you're saying.

"It's strange that it came out now. Four or five weeks ago nobody was talking about that.

"All of a sudden, when you lose a game in football everything is strange. To be fair, I don't know exactly what has been coming out or what people are reading or listening.

"But some of the stuff that has been reported is completely wrong. Once again this is football, when you lose games you have to deal with problems that don't even exist."

Villa have lost five of their last six games - conceding 11 in their last three matches, including a 6-0 defeat to Liverpool - and Garde conceded spirits are low.

"Enjoying is not the word when you're bottom of the league," he said. "Nobody enjoys it when you're bottom of the league. I'm not enjoying it."

Carlos Sanchez (hamstring), Jack Grealish and Libor Kozak (both ankle), Adama Traore (foot) and Jordan Amavi (knee) are all out.

Garde, who signed a deal until 2019 when he was appointed in November, has consistently refused to commit his future to Villa beyond the summer and again avoided saying he will stay, even admitting his future was out of his hands.

He said: "I've got a contract with the club. I'm happy to be the manager of this club. I'm focused on the next 10 games because I came to this football club to try to avoid relegation. This is the main target.

"I'm not in a position where I decide what I want to do. I'm under contract with this football club and I will do what they ask me to do.

"Of course I'm committed for the next 10 games that we have to play. This is my role.

"The time will come where we have to discuss everything. I'm only concentrating on the next 10 games."

Press Association

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