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Garde defiant despite second-half collapse at Manchester City

Remi Garde insisted faith in his own ability has not been shaken despite Aston Villa’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City edging them closer to the Premier League’s trap door.

The visitors held Manuel Pellegrini’s side at bay during the first half at the Etihad Stadium, but four goals in 18 minutes after the break consigned Villa to a 19th Premier League loss of the season to leave them 11 points from safety.

Garde has not yet given up home of a miraculous survival bid over the final nine matches and is adamant that Villa’s dismal form has not caused him to question his own methods.

“I am very confident in my management. I have problems, but not with that,” he said. “We are still in the race.

“We had a plan, which was not conceding as long as we could. We had to be realistic, playing away at a team who can still win the Champions League. Being too optimistic during the whole game would have been suicide.

“The plan in the second half was to do the same and maybe exploit one or two good opportunities but the goal was a big blow for the team. The second one straight after was a big blow. The scenario then was different.

“I’m the manager and I try to keep them in the Premier League. I know the strength and weakness of the team. Sometimes we have tried to play a more open game, if you look at the last one at Villa Park, for example. 

“I accept the critics but sometimes you try not to change things because you believe in it. Sometimes you try to change because you have to. I tried all solutions. Had we played the second half like the first, and they didn’t score so early, the game could’ve been different.

“I’m focused on this season. I’m not crazy, we’ve got nine games to play, everything is still mathematically possible. It’s not the time to talk about next season.”

Sat 5 Mar, 2016
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