Garde tipped to lead Aston Villa to top-flight safety

Aston Villa lost for a sixth consecutive time on Monday night, but Neil MacDonald believes Remi Garde can lead them to Premier League survival.

That opening day 1-0 win at Bournemouth now seems like a lifetime ago for the long-suffering Villa fans, who have seen their side engulfed in a relegation fight all too often in recent times. And it looks as though it could be another long season for the faithful, who left White Hart Lane on Monday evening on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

This was the sixth successive loss for Villa, who earlier in the day confirmed that Garde had been appointed as successor to Tim Sherwood as manager. The Frenchman watched the latest setback from the stands as MacDonald took responsibility for the first team, and despite the defeat, the caretaker manager is confident the new coach can keep them up.

“He’s got something to work with,” said MacDonald. “They’ve got a great desire to work, work, and work. They need to utilise their knowledge a little bit better, they need to take care of the ball a bit better. Obviously Remi with his experience of having played with Arsenal and with the work he’s done at Lyon, I’m sure he’ll be reiterating that as well. You’ve got to keep fighting.”

Villa remain bottom of the Premier League table with just four points to show from their opening 11 fixtures, and life is unlikely to get any easier this weekend when Manchester City visit the Midlands for Garde’s first game in charge. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently top of the table, and a win would see them open up a three point lead over the Gunners.

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