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Jordan Ayew apologises after red card adds to Aston Villa's woes

Jordan Ayew has apologised for his red card at West Ham which deepened Aston Villa's relegation worries.

The striker was dismissed after just 17 minutes when he elbowed Aaron Cresswell as Villa slipped to a 2-0 loss at Upton Park on Tuesday.

Defeat left them bottom of the Barclays Premier League and 10 points adrift of 17th-placed Norwich, who travel to Villa Park on Saturday.

Ayew is now banned for three games - with Villa also without injured strikers Rudy Gestede and Libor Kozak - and has said sorry.

He wrote on Instagram: "Looking back at my impulsive actions last night I sincerely apologise to the supporters of Aston Villa, my teammates, AVFC staff and my coach.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and I don't wish to dwell on my mistake but rather look forward to playing again to prove myself to be true to claret and blue as I have done from the moment I joined AVFC and I do not intend to slow down now.

"To my fans and everyone I offended, I ask that you join me in moving on from this unfortunate situation as I continue to focus on my career and the success of the team. We fight till the end. Up The Villa!"

Ayew left the visitors to play 73 minutes with 10 men and goals from Michail Antonio and Cheikhou Kouyate sealed the win for the Hammers, b ut Villa captain Micah Richards is refusing to give up.

"We have the fighting spirit," the defender told the club's official website. "We have 14 games now and we will give 100 per cent until the end.

"Until it's mathematically impossible, I will not rule us out.

"We know it will be hard. I am a realist too. I think we need three wins on the bounce and then things start to change."

It was not the most convincing of victories but Tuesday's performance kept West Ham in the hunt for a European place. They remain just a point behind Manchester United in fifth.

Boss Slaven Bilic can add new signing Emmanuel Emenike to his squad when they head to Southampton on Saturday, as well as welcoming back fellow striker Andy Carroll from injury.

"Andy started to train with us on Monday, and he should be in the squad for Southampton if everything goes well," he said.

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