(Reuters) – Buoyed by Aston Villa’s willingness to back him with funds in the transfer window, manager Remi Garde has told his underperforming players to get on board with his methods or leave the club in January.
Garde flew out to discuss Villa’s future with owner Randy Lerner this week, and chief executive Tom Fox, who accompanied the Frenchman, said players would be bought in January if the manager felt he needed to strengthen.
With the club six points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League table and on course for relegation, Garde has identified the players he wants to offload when the transfer window opens.
Midfielder Charles N’Zogbia heads the list, with the manager questioning the 29-year-old’s commitment just a month after recalling him to the first team.
“Charles could have given more than he has given to the team in the first two or three weeks since I came,” Garde told the British media.
“He is ending his contract soon. I am not saying Charles is a bad person. He is a good player because I picked him for the first two or three weeks but sometimes it doesn’t work between players and clubs, players and managers.”
The manager stressed that the door was open for anyone who wanted to leave, and seemed to confirm recent reports that Gabriel Agbonlahor was unhappy at falling down the pecking order at his boyhood club.
“Every player has the possibility twice in the year to come to the manager and say, ‘I don’t feel you trust me, I don’t feel well any more’,” Garde said.
“For Gabby and the rest of the team, when you change manager and the way of working, maybe you don’t feel comfortable. I want to trust my players and for my players to trust me.
“I feel the trust is there for the moment, but when a player is not selected in the team, like Gabby last week, it creates disagreement.
“Sometimes… there is a possibility where you can go to the manager and say, ‘I’m not happy, I want to leave’.
“If that’s the case and a player is not happy I will listen.”
(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)