Jordan Ayew has called on his team-mates to “find a solution” as managerless Aston Villa prepare to face Southampton in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Villa head to St Mary’s Stadium after a sixth consecutive Premier League defeat to Swansea City that cost Tim Sherwood his job.
Ayew give his side the lead 62 minutes into that contest before a subsequent collapse and the Ghana international is keen to see mental strength from his colleagues in order to turn their dire slump around.
“We are playing good football but we are not winning. It’s tough,” he told AVTV HD.
“We have to find a solution. As players we have to be stronger to win games. We played well against Swansea but at the end it was zero points.
“We have played against teams who have played no better than us but we haven’t been getting the results. We have to continue working hard now to pick up.
“No matter how we play, we have to win. We want to pick up victories and make the fans happy.”
Playmaker Gaston Ramirez will be eying further first-team action having featured for Southampton in the Premier League for the first time in 15 months during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
Ramirez, a former club-record signing who spent the majority of last season on loan with relegated Hull City, came on as an 80th-minute substitute at Anfield and set up Sadio Mane’s equaliser.
“Gaston is working hard and he’s part of the team,” manager Koeman told Southampton’s YouTube channel. “He was not the first option in that position in front.
“He’s working hard and he’s trying to take his opportunity. With injuries to Shane [Long] and Jay [Rodriguez] he’s knocking on the door and then I give Gaston that opportunity.”
Koeman added that Wednesday’s match will come too soon for Long and Rodriguez (both ankle), while Mane’s red card against Liverpool leaves his attacking reserves further depleted.
Villa enjoyed a rare high-point in their arduous season in the previous round, overcoming bitter rivals Birmingham City 1-0 thanks to a Rudy Gestede goal.
Interim manager Kevin MacDonald is without defensive duo Ciaran Clark (thigh) and Jores Okore (knee), along with midfielder Gary Gardner (ankle).