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Villa In The Press


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yes its back for January

Birmingham Mail: Tom Fox and Hendrik Almstadt are set to fly to the States tomorrow for crisis talks with Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner. The chief executive and sporting director will jet to New York to meet Lerner to discuss a way forward after the club's sorry season took another turn for the worse with Saturday's FA Cup embarrassment at League Two Wycombe. Funds for January transfer window signings will be on the agenda along with an update on Villa's plan to appoint a new chairman to replace Lerner. Fox and Almstadt were at Adams Park on Saturday to witness Villa fail to beat a team three divisions below them in the FA Cup third round, as manager Rémi Garde extended his own winless run to 10 games.

The Sun: Aston Villa chiefs will today plead with US owner Randy Lerner to splash the cash. Boss Rémi Garde needs funds — with his side at rock-bottom. So Villa chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt will dash to New York for crunch talks with Lerner. Garde says he needs at least three new players this month just to avoid displays like Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup draw at League Two Wycombe.

Daily Telegraph: Aston Villa's board will have crisis talks on Monday with owner Randy Lerner under pressure to save the club's season from further embarrassment. Tom Fox, the chief executive, and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt are flying out to meet Lerner in New York and will attempt to convince the Villa owner that significant funds are required this month. Rémi Garde, the Villa manager, is growing increasingly frustrated and demanding new signings after yet another bleak afternoon, with his team stumbling to a draw with League Two club Wycombe Wanderers. Garde was abused by some supporters as he left Adams Park and the Frenchman is understood to be unhappy that he is being judged on signings that were made before his appointment.

The Guardian: Aston Villa have called a crisis meeting in New York to discuss how they can save their season after another dismal weekend for the Premier League's bottom club and with a growing mutiny among their disillusioned fanbase. The chief executive, Tom Fox, is flying out on Monday for talks with the owner, Randy Lerner, to see if there is any way the damage can be repaired by using the current transfer window to bring in new players. Fox will be accompanied by the sporting director, Hendrik Almstadt, on the back of the 1-1 draw against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup on Saturday, when their failure to beat a League Two side culminated in angry scenes involving the away supporters.

Daily Mail: Aston Villa chief executive Tom Fox will fly to New York on Monday for crisis talks with owner Randy Lerner after the club's season plunged to new depths in the draw at League Two Wycombe. The American duo will discuss how to approach the January transfer window in a desperate bid to turn around the club's fortunes and Lerner will decide the funds available to Rémi Garde. Sporting director Hendrik Almstadt will also make the trip to the United States to give his opinion on player targets, with Arsenal right back Mathieu Debuchy high up on Garde's wishlist.

Daily Star: Randy Lerner will hold crisis talks next week after Aston Villa fans turned up the heat on Rémi Garde. Chief executive Tom Fox is flying out to meet Villa's billionaire owner in New York, and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt will also be at the summit. Garde's job is not under threat despite Villa fans showering him with abuse after League Two Wycombe took them to an FA Cup replay next Saturday. But Lerner is concerned at the mounting sense of crisis and wants answers. He is also prepared to make signings during this month's transfer window.

Daily Mirror: Aston Villa's top brass are due in New York on Monday for a crunch transfer summit with the crisis club's American owner Randy Lerner. An embarrassing 1-1 draw at League Two Wycombe in the FA Cup means new boss Rémi Garde has still not won a match in 10 attempts. The beleaguered Frenchman was abused by angry fans' at Wycombe's Adams Park following the lacklustre draw. Garde is desperate for reinforcements to help rock bottom Premier League Villa, who are 11 points from safety. A loan move for Arsenal's French international right-back Mathieu Debuchy is in the pipeline as the defender wants regular games to secure his international place ahead of Euro 2016.

Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde insists he is open-minded about ways to revive Aston Villa but admits he has not considered employing a sports psychologist - yet. After Saturday's frustrating FA Cup draw at League Two Wycombe Wanderers, Garde was asked about if he had contemplated enlisting the help of a shrink to help boost Villa's fragile confidence. Of the 23 games the claret and blues have played so far this season in all competitions, they have won just three. Asked about bringing in a psychologist, Garde replied: "Not for the moment, but I could - I don't know."

Sky Sports: Rémi Garde admits he may have to think about turning to a sports psychologist to try and turn around Aston Villa's fortunes. Garde has avoided such help so far in his managerial career, but accepts he may be forced into a rethink if Villa's awful run of form continues for much longer. Villa are winless in 16 matches after Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third round draw at League Two side Wycombe, with Garde accountable for 10 of those games since his arrival in November.

EuroSport: Rémi Garde has admitted he could be forced to abandon long-held principles and turn to sports psychologists to dig Aston Villa out of the relegation mire. Garde has refused to employ sports psychology so far in his managerial career, but accepted he may be forced into a rethink if Villa's awful run continues.

Daily Express: Aston Villa manager Rémi Garde has vowed not to quit in the wake of his side's latest humiliation. The Premier League basement boys must play a replay at home to League Two Wycombe after being held to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park. "I'm not specially under pressure but we're not winning games," he said. "The day I feel I can't do anything positive you will know it." Joe Jacobson's 50th minute penalty after Matt Bloomfield had been elbowed by Ashley Westwood cancelled out Micah Richards' strike.

Daily Mirror: Aston Villa's torrid season hit a new low at League Two Wycombe as fans exploded in anger at the club's remarkable demise. Even beleaguered Villa boss Rémi Garde admitted it was hard to distinguish who was the Premier League side after the tight draw. Villa, who prop up the top-flight with just eight points, remain in the FA Cup but Wycombe fancy their chances for the replay. Exasperated Garde admitted Villa played as individuals not a team at Adams Park on a miserable afternoon for the visitors. A big away turn out came to witness the team's first win since September but instead their winless run stretched to 16 games.


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Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde reckons Villa's most recent performances will help convince potential signings to join the club. Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy and Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane are both on Villa's radar but the pair will only join on loan. Garde who is working tirelessly to add new recruits to his side is hopeful that back-to-back positive home displays will help attract signings but he stopped short of providing in-depth updates on specific targets.

Independent: Rémi Garde still has some way to go to prove he was the right man to take charge of a team in Aston Villa's predicament, but the Frenchman believes his players are at last beginning to understand what he is about. Villa went from four points below a position of safety to 11 adrift as they failed to win any of Garde's first nine matches in charge; but while their chances of escaping the drop remain slim, the last week has delivered improvement in the shape of a win against Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw with high-flying Leicester City on Saturday.

Daily Mail: Rémi Garde has admitted some members of Aston Villa's squad are not on board with his approach and hinted his team selections reflect this. Rudy Gestede scored a late leveller against Leicester to sustain some of the momentum generated by victory over Crystal Palace as Garde picked the same side for two matches in a row. Gabby Agbonlahor has played just one minute for the Villa manager - back on December 5 at Southampton - and Garde will observe how the club captain trains before picking his team to face Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Daily Telegraph: Aly Cissokho, the defender who was recalled by Rémi Garde from a loan spell at Porto, insists the Frenchman can still achieve mission improbable. "Aston Villa's future is in good hands. He knows how to manage teams. I think he will push forward his young players, like he did at Lyon and that can only be good in the long term for Villa," he said. "My agent contacted me to say Aston Villa had been in touch and Remi Garde wanted me to come back from Porto. It took me less than a second to say yes. "Of course I will give everything to help the club stay up. I was disappointed to be told I could go on loan in the summer, but that's football."

Birmingham Mail: Aly Cissokho admits that it took him 'less than a second' to accept a return to Aston Villa. The left-back has played the last three Premier League games after boss Rémi Garde called him back from an unsuccessful loan at Porto. Cissokho was deemed surplus to requirements under the former regime but Garde, who managed him at Lyon, felt he was worthy of a recall.

The Times: Rémi Garde's team are cut adrift but, having appeared to have an impossible job, he is beginning to snarl. With the odd steely glare, we can see a manager unprepared to give up yet. Rudy Gestede was brought on, Villa played a higher line and the striker outmuscled Robert Huth to equalise. The crowd roared approval and for a few minutes relegation did not feel inevitable.

Daily Express: Defender Aly Cissokho said time is not on bottom-of-the-table Villa's side: "Every single point is important for us, so it feels like we have lost two points, not gained one. "There are only 16 games left and we need wins, not draws. But we have played two league games this week and haven't lost so that is good for our spirits."

The Sun: Rémi Garde has confessed that players are not keen to join the club for a relegation scrap. But it took Aly Cissokho, 28, less than a second to jump at the chance of a return to Villa Park once he realised his old Lyon boss was in charge. Now the Frenchman has promised suffering Villa fans that Garde is the safe pair of hands the club needs.



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Birmingham Mail: Villa are not giving up on their pursuit of goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic. The 25-year-old appeared to be edging closer to a move from Hajduk Split only for a work permit to be denied at the back end of last week. Villa desperately want to make the 6ft 7ins Croatian international stopper their first signing of the year and are now considering a second appeal after the first was rejected by the FA.

Express and Star: Villa are attempting to resurrect a deal for Hadjuk Split goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic. The 25-year-old Croatian international had been poised for a £4.9million switch to Villa Park, only for the move to collapse when he was denied a work permit. A first appeal against the FA's decision was rejected but Villa are now considering a second as boss Rémi Garde looks to snare a player he sees as the ideal replacement for Brad Guzan. The Frenchman, who has experienced continued frustration in attempts to bolster his squad, did at least complete his first signing of January yesterday when Eric Black was confirmed as the club's new assistant manager.

Birmingham Mail: Eric Black has been appointed as the new first-team coach at Villa. Boss Remi Garde personally selected the 52-year-old to join his coaching team after the French speaking Scot impressed him in a recent meeting. Garde knew of Black before his arrival in England because of the former Metz striker's dealings back in his homeland.

Sunderland Echo Online: Mathieu Debuchy is facing a choice between Premier League basement boys Sunderland and Aston Villa to keep his Euro 2016 hopes alive. Sunderland have made a late move to pip Villa to the signing of Arsenal defender Debuchy, with Sam Allardyce still eager to strengthen his right-back options, as he has been throughout the January transfer window. Debuchy is keen to leave the Emirates to play regular first-team football and secure a place in the France squad for the summer's European Championships, and Arsenal will not stand in the ex-Newcastle United man's way. But Sunderland will need to pip Villa to Debuchy's signing after new boss Rémi Garde has been pursuing his fellow Frenchman throughout the transfer window. Despite Sunderland's interest emerging, it is understood that Villa remain keen to sign Debuchy, although he is not the main priority in the last few days of the window for Garde.

Birmingham Mail: Aston Villa skipper Micah Richards has sensationally revealed that he asked Mario Balotelli for a fight during their time at Man City. Richards was a guest on Sky's TV show 'A League Of Their Own' and revealed details of the bust-up he had with the controversial Italian. The pair clashed during a training session in the middle of a game of five-a-side. Richards revealed: "Mario Balotelli just thinks he's the best at everything. Thinks he's the best looking," said Richards. We were playing five-a-side and we were losing because he didn't work, which is evident. He swore at me in Italian and he thought I didn't understand. But I know a bit of Italian lingo so I said, 'Who you talking to? He said it again so we squared up and and I offered him out. But he said no."


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