Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black says he will “remain professional” until the end of the season despite the club’s certain relegation.
Steve Cook and Josh King scored to give Bournemouth a deserved 2-1 win at Villa Park which means Villa’s relegation could be confirmed on Sunday if Sunderland beat Leicester City because their game with Norwich next week means Villa would not be able to catch one of them to survive.
Whatever the result at Carrow Road at least one side will take points and take them out of Villa’s reach.
They are bottom of the table, 15 points from safety with just five games left having lost eight straight matches, and with their first relegation since 1987 looming Black knows they cannot escape.
“It’s been a difficult year for everyone. We’re not relegated as yet, but we’re not far off. It’s not been in the last month it has happened and it’s now looking irreversible,” he said, after Norwich’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace gave Villa a stay of execution.
“We have to be professional until the end. I will certainly do that. We have five very difficult games coming up against some of the best teams in the world.
“It’s not a great state of affairs, but we have to go again Monday morning. We don’t have a choice and we have to get something back into this wonderful club.”
Villa supporters also jeered their side from the kick off and Black understood their views.
He said: “I looked at some stats which showed we have won 18 or 19 home games in 80 which is four-and-a-half games a season. That doesn’t get the fans jumping up and down filling you with confidence.
“The fans have every right to voice their opinions and if I was one of them I don’t think I would be jumping up and down. The time has come for the club to give something back to the fans now.
“The fans have no criticism from me, they voice their opinions and have every right to but the club now have to take a stance and give something back.”