Aston Villa manager Remi Garde says that he needs his players to be “totally committed” in their fight against Premier League relegation.
Villa are currently rock bottom of the Premier League and haven’t won since the opening day of the season.
Since arriving at Villa Park, Garde has failed to win a game and there have been reports of team unrest after Gabriel Agbonlahor was dropped against Arsenal last weekend.
And the Frenchman says that anyone who isn’t “totally comitted” is free to leave the club in January.
Speaking to The Sun, Garde said: “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 good here anymore.’
“It’s the same for Gabby as the rest of the team. When you change manager and the way of working, maybe suddenly you don’t feel comfortable.
“I’m not saying that about Gabby especially. It will be the same for every player.
“I want to trust my players and want my players to trust me and also believe in the way we try to play and win games. I feel the trust is still there with Gabby.
“When a player is not selected in the team, like Gabby last week, obviously it creates a disagreement.
“But sometimes disagreements or mistakes in life are not definitive. Sometimes you learn from that. You can have a discussion and have a new start.
“Gabby is an example to the other players at the club. He has to set an example. The situation is clear with Gabby, as it is with any other player.
“Maybe they will not believe in what we are doing or where we are going. But I do not get that feeling at all from any of my players.
“I am proud that I have not yet seen a player who has come to me and said he wants to leave in January.
“Maybe it will happen. It will be the time to do that because after that I will need players totally committed with me — and me with my players.”
With just six points from their opening 16 games, Villa are favourites for the drop, and no team has ever avoided relegation with such a record.
However, Garde is confident they can turn it around, starting with today’s crucial match against Newcastle.
“I don’t want to say that the statistics are wrong. But they are there to be destroyed,” said Garde.
“We still have the opportunity to switch things around, that’s why the next four games will be very important. After those games we will know more about the team.
“It could start from here, against Newcastle. We have had a bad season until now. The next four games will be crucial so let’s see what happens.”