Remi Garde says Aston Villa are now entering a period where they “have to win” after losing at home to Arsenal on Sunday.
Villa are eight points from safety at the bottom after their winless run in the Premier League was extended to 16 games courtesy of first-half goals from Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.
The Midlanders have won just two points from the last 30 available but go to Newcastle United next weekend before facing fellow strugglers Norwich City and Sunderland over the festive period.
Garde admitted the games will define Villa’s season.
“Probably, we will have to win if we want to be safe,” said Garde.
“We can still be safe, but we are coming into a period where we have to win. I see this situation as more of an opportunity than a problem but we have to be ready.
“I still believe we are capable of winning the next game. I enjoy working in this league. We are struggling, I still haven’t won a game and I’m very frustrated but I know in football you can change things with work.”