Interim Aston Villa boss Eric Black said he understands supporters’ frustrations after the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea ended a miserable week for the Premier League’s crisis club.
Having parted company with manager Remi Garde on Tuesday, and then seen Gabriel Agbonlahor suspended amid an investigation into his conduct, Black presided over a limp performance at a frustrated Villa Park on Saturday, where supporters voiced their anger and despair and displayed banners venting their feelings during the match.
Leandro Bacuna was the subject of many of the jeers after the winger said in an interview during the international break that he was seeking a move away from the club as he wants to play in the Champions League.
Black showed little sympathy for the former Groningen man in his post-match press conference, and he conceded that Villa’s supporters have every right to make their feelings at the club’s present situation known.
He said: “When your team is bottom of the league, you’ve lost seven games in a row and won only three all season, I can understand the disconnect for the supporters.
“We have to ensure that we give the supporters something. It’s not the other way around.
“Something has to come back to the supporters because it has been a hard season, and we’ll do our utmost to do that.”
Defeat, inspired by a debut goal for Alexandre Pato, left Villa on the brink of relegation, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and a second-half brace from Pedro giving Chelsea an easy three points.
Black added: “It wasn’t easy. We set up to try and not concede, and we managed to do that for a period of time, but unfortunately it’s not just on this occasion that we’ve lost poor goals.
“We had one or two opportunities but not enough to cause them any real concern.”
He added: “I don’t think anybody is under any illusions about the problems running deeper. What we have to do is stay strong as a club.
“The fans need to see some kind of effort, and there was a certain amount of that, but the quality lets us down.
“The club has to rebuild, it’s as simple as that. The club has to come back and ensure that the only focus for players is playing on a Saturday for Aston Villa, and for those above it’s getting the club back to where it should be.”