Remi Garde is expected to be announced as Aston Villa’s new manager on Monday – and needs to oversee “top-four” form to save the club from relegation, Kevin MacDonald has warned.
Former Lyon boss Garde is poised to step into the role vacated when Tim Sherwood was sacked on October 25.
“Remi Garde is going to coach Aston Villa,” said the Canal Football Club programme on its Twitter feed on Sunday.
It added that Reginald Ray will be one of his assistants. Former striker Ray has previously coached at US Boulogne and Bastia.
Since leaving Lyon last year, Garde has worked as a match analyst on French television, but the 49-year-old former Arsenal player appears ready for a return to dugout duty.
Garde could be in the White Hart Lane stands on Monday evening for Villa’s Premier League clash with Tottenham.
Villa sit bottom of the Barclays Premier League and four points from safety ahead of the trip to north London, and MacDonald admits the team must show Champions League form to survive.
MacDonald, Villa’s regular under-21 coach, is due to remain in charge against Tottenham and he knows the strugglers need to perform to a European standard.
He said: “We almost have to play top-four standard of football points-wise to get us out of the trouble we’re in.
“We’re in trouble. We’re not that naive to think we’re not. But we think, as a whole group within the club, that we have better players than where we are at the moment.
“If everything turns around, which hopefully it will, and we finish mid-table then I would like to think people would be eating their words. This is what players have to understand. They have to have that desire to ram words down people’s throats.
“I don’t mean that horribly. But that’s football – professional sport. Their pride is hurting – make no mistake about that. I imagine Jordan Ayew’s brother (Swansea’s Andre Ayew) is giving him a bit of stick. Whether people call it banter or not, people don’t like it. I know I don’t like it.
“I live towards Leicester so most of my friends are Leicester supporters and, of course, they are giving me a lot of stick at the moment.”
Joleon Lescott, Idrissa Gana and Adama Traore are expected to return at Tottenham, but Micah Richards could miss out with the Football Association yet to make a decision over any punishment after the defender admitted an improper conduct charge.
MacDonald said: “They are determined. When you become a professional sportsman, what you’re trying to do is be the best you can and be successful. You play sport to be successful, I don’t care what anyone says.
“So the pride of the lads is hurt because they are bottom of the league, but the morale is fine.”
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