Remi Garde’s opinion of his Aston Villa side has not changed after a 4-0 defeat at Everton in a game he always felt would be difficult.
Garde’s second game in charge of Villa saw the Premier League basement boys produce a performance that lacked in attacking threat, was at times embarrassing on the defensive front, and was ruthlessly punished by a rampant Toffees outfit.
The home side were 3-0 up by half-time thanks to Ross Barkley’s brace either side of a header from Romelu Lukaku, who then added his second around the hour mark.
Villa are now without a win in 12 league matches and are five points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.
Garde, however, was not overly downbeat after the defeat to a side he had acknowledged beforehand were stronger than his own.
When asked if he felt his players had let the club down, Garde said: “Not at all. It was not a question of letting it down.
“It was more a question of Everton being a very good side.
“They are well balanced and have known each other for a long time.
“We have a lot of new players, and we have to work all together to one day become like Everton.”
The Frenchman, who oversaw a 0-0 draw with Manchester City in his first game at the helm, added: “Of course, I was disappointed, and the players were as well. We could have done much better.
“The Premier League is very physically demanding and in the first 45 minutes we couldn’t answer. When you can’t, you are in trouble, and we were.
“But I knew it would be very difficult today to grab at least one point. Now what will be very important is the next game, at home against Watford.
“There are still a lot of points to get so let’s stay focused and all together.
“I knew we had a lot of work to do and we will do it. I knew before coming that it was going to be difficult, but I’m full of energy and I will carry on trying to do that with my players.
“The mission has not changed.”
Meanwhile, Garde was keen to express his gratitude after the French national anthem was played at the ground ahead of kick-off – as at all Premier League games on Saturday – as a tribute to those affected by the Paris terror attacks.
He said: “I was very impressed with the way all the decent people are sticking with the French.
“At the moment in France it is quite terrible, everybody is quite scared.
“When you are scared and you know everybody, every country around you is with you, it is very warm in your heart. I felt something very special.
“I thank all the English people everywhere who have showed us this tribute.”