Remi Garde hailed Aston Villa’s solidarity at Southampton and believes they’ll get more points on the board if they show the same commitment in every game.
Joleon Lescott opened the scoring for Villa, before Oriol Romeu’s equaliser earned Southampton a 1-1 draw – but Villa’s battling qualities caught Garde’s eye.
“It is a big point,” he said. “We have suffered a lot, Southampton created many chances and we were under pressure for long periods. But we showed a very good spirit. I’m happy about that.
“The solidarity between the players and the desire to fight ant not concede, we didn’t have that at Everton or against Watford. Southampton are a very strong side and we expected to be questioned and the answers we gave were very good.
“Sometimes you have to fight hard for 15-20 minutes at the start of a game. We were lucky but we did not give up.
“I prefer to have this solidarity in every game than have much more talent. Solidarity is the key when you are fighting relegation. If we show this spirit again we will get more points. The talent at Aston Villa is not the same as at Manchester City or Arsenal but they still lose games.
“The spirit we have shown, the talent we have in the team,” Villa’s manager responded when asked why he thought survival was possible. “We played a very good side. (Southampton) are used to playing for a long time together, you can see that.
“A point, a very important one. We suffered a lot, we were under pressure. They have pace, have powerful attacking players. It was difficult for us. It’s a good point for us.
“The spirit the team showed (was the most pleasing aspect of Villa’s performance). We had very tough moments where Southampton were pushing, creating many chances.”
In Garde’s first match in charge, Villa impressed in securing a 0-0 draw at Manchester City but then lost 4-0 at Everton and 3-2 at home to Watford.
Saturday’s draw gives Garde two draws and two defeats since his appointment as manager, and this time, he stressed, it was important they build upon it unlike they did after the draw against City.
“Everybody was fighting for everybody. We showed the spirit, we need to show that in every game now if we want to avoid relegation.
“I still believe because there’s still a lot of games (remaining). The spirit is important. What we have shown is interesting for the future. I felt the same after Manchester City and then we dropped our fighting spirit. We can’t do that anymore. I hope this is the real start.”
Aston Villa captain Joleon Lescott added: “That is massive for morale. We had to stand up to it today and in the first 20 minutes they could have won the game. We rode our luck.
“But we showed grit and determination, the manager wanted more desire from us and we showed that.”