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Norwich v Aston Villa: Garde eager to spark survival mission

Remi Garde insists Aston Villa must beat Norwich or Sunderland to breathe life into their survival bid. Villa are nine points behind the Canaries, who are a place above the relegation zone, ahead of today's game at Carrow Road.

Garde's side are marooned at the bottom of the Premier League and also go to Sunderland on Saturday, four points behind the Black Cats.

They are winless since the opening day of the season, following Boxing Day's 1-1 draw with West Ham, and Garde knows their next two games are crucial.

"I think we definitely have to win one of these two," he said.

"It will be difficult because we are fighting against teams also not in a good position.

"The energy in the group is much better than a few weeks earlier. It will probably help us to have this kind of performance more regularly."

Jordan Ayew's penalty rescued a point in Saturday's draw with the Hammers but Rudy Gestede, who started ahead of Scott Sinclair, wasted two fine chances.

"Football is about converting chances," said Garde. "Rudy is not lucky at the moment but he worked very hard. I won't blame him - I won't blame anyone. We gave everything."

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