Nobody wants to leave Villa in January – Garde

Matthew Briggs

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde has claimed that no player at the club has approached him about wanting to leave the rock-bottom Premier League club.

According to reports earlier this week, long-serving Gabby Agbonlahor will be offloaded in January, but Garde, who replaced Tim Sherwood last month, says that nobody is unhappy enough to want a transfer.

Garde though is keen for his squad to trust him and understand his methods and has told his players they must get on board with his philosophy.

The midlands side head into Saturday’s crucial clash at fellow strugglers Newcastle eight points from safety and on a club-record run of 15 league matches without a win.

Garde said: “More than Gabby’s case – every player has the possibility twice in the year to come to the manager and say, ‘I don’t feel you trust me, I don’t feel well any more’.

“For Gabby and the rest of the team, when you change manager and the way of working, maybe suddenly you don’t feel comfortable.

“I’m not saying that about Gabby especially. It will be the same for every player.

“I want to trust my players and for my players to trust me. For Gabby or another player, maybe they will not see what we’re doing or where we’re going. I don’t know.

“I don’t feel that at all with players. It’s not the time. We have a huge game on Saturday and then next three after that (West Ham at home on Boxing Day, Norwich away on December 28 and Sunderland away on January 2) will be important.”

He added: “I am proud that I have not yet seen a player who has come to me and said he wants to leave in January because he’s not happy here.

“Maybe it will happen. It will be the time to do that because after that I will need players totally committed with me, and me with my players.”

Garde is likely to again be without captain Micah Richards at St James’ Park as the defender struggles with a knee injury.