Villa boss understands fans' frustrations
Updated Friday, 26th February 2016
Aston Villa boss Remi Garde admits he understands the fans' desire to protest but urged them not to distract the team.
Villa supporters are planning to walk out in the 74th minute of their next three home games with the club staring at relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
They are bottom and eight points from safety ahead of Saturday's trip to Stoke.
The protests are planned in the 74th minute to signify when Villa were founded in 1874 with supporters angry at the lack of direction as the club looks certain to drop into the Sky Bet Championship.
Garde said: "I can understand. It's such a painful situation, such a painful season, that everybody who loves this football club has to cope with.
"Fans are fully part of this situation we have to deal with. If they want to protest what can I say? What can I do? I have only been here for four months and this protest is probably the result of years.
"I would prefer if this kind of demonstration takes place outside the game while we still have the possibility to win games for survival.
"My job is to believe we can still win games. And the best way to win games is to prepare the team well and make sure the players have the full desire to win.
"Then we need the support of the fans. But I haven't got any advice to give to fans who have followed this club for years."
The Reds were 2-0 up at the time before shipping two late goals and Garde - who remains without the banned Jordan Ayew and injured Jack Grealish - conceded fans' actions could have consequences on the pitch.
He said: "It's difficult to affirm, it's difficult to say 100% but you can imagine it had an effect."