Aston Villa are not relegation certainties and are unwilling to lie down, insists manager Remi Garde.
Villa remain rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with five points from their opening 13 matches – a figure no side has ever recovered from in the division’s history.
The Midlands club are five points from safety, however, Garde is undaunted by statistics for the time being, with the Frenchman confident of overcoming the points deficit at this stage in the campaign.
“Only when it’s done with mathematics can you accept things like that and we are not at that point,” he said.
“We are five points away from safety and, for the moment, that is not something that’s unreachable.
“I understand that people outside will bet on us being in this position at the end of the season, but I really think we have the possibility to close the gap.”
Garde, a replacement for Tim Sherwood who was sacked last month, added: “There are a lot of points left so why can’t we do it? Statistics are one thing, but sometimes they are made to be challenged.
“It’s not until we are in a position where we cannot do anything. I strongly believe we can. I am committed to the mission I have taken on.
“I don’t see any players fed up about the situation or what I am asking of them – not at all.”
Villa take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday and Garde is expecting another tricky test with Manchester City and table-toppers Leicester the only sides to beat the top-flight newcomers away from home this season.
“It’s a huge game,” Garde said. “Watford are a good side, especially away and when you see the only sides to beat them, that tells you how good they are on their travels. It’s a tough game.
“We know we have to score goals, which we haven’t in the last two games and you aren’t going to win games when that happens.”