Remi Garde insists only Aston Villa’s fragile players can restore their battered confidence ahead of the crucial trip to Sunderland.
The boss believes his rock-bottom squad need to rediscover their inner belief after a disastrous first half of the season.
Villa go to the Stadium of Light for a basement battle with the second-bottom Black Cats four points above them in the Barclays Premier League.
Garde’s side have not won in the league since the opening day of the season and are on a club record run of 18 games without a victory.
The Frenchman has spoken about how his players are lacking confidence because of their run but said they can change their mentality.
“When you lose so many games at the start of the season, the impact of this is probably huge,” he told the club’s official site.
“This is why I am always talking about the fragility and lack of confidence within the team.
“Saying that the solution is within the team and within the dressing room – it’s nowhere else.
“You have to analyse what happened individually but then say ‘I have pride, I am healthy, I am fit, I want to win games’ and then ‘I have to behave like that’.
“If not you say ‘I have this problem’, ‘The team has this problem’ and you never go forward.
“I feel champions are very strong in the mind. I have to be as well.
“I have to build the atmosphere that will allow the players to flourish.
“For me when I was a player, in every successful team I played with, I knew what I had to do on the pitch. For me this is very important. That stuff is my job.”
Garde is without the suspended Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood while Gabriel Agbonlahor (back) and Carlos Sanchez (hamstring) are sidelined.