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Villa boss Garde will let Jack Grealish back into first team

Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa

By Declan Warrington

Remi Garde has revealed Jack Grealish will return to training with Aston Villa's first team this week, and the manager will then focus on preparing to face Arsenal - the Frenchman's former club.

The talented Grealish had been forced to train with Villa's development squad as a punishment for being filmed in a Manchester nightclub hours after the first team's 4-0 defeat at Everton and amid allegations he also partied at a Birmingham hotel the following day.

He again had no involvement in Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Southampton, but after he has played for the reserves today, Garde - who has overseen two draws and two defeats since his appointment as Villa's manager - will again consider the 20-year-old for selection.

"Jack Grealish will play with the reserve team on Monday and will probably join the group after that," said Garde, whose previous experience of English football came at Villa's next visitors, Arsenal, where he was a player in the 1990s.

"It's a very good feeling (to face Arsenal again). But my personal feelings are not very important.

"Of course I have very good memories and a strong relationship with this English football club but I know that it is a very good side and they will come to Villa Park to win the game.

"For us it will be very tough but I expect my players to be like they were (in the 0-0 draw with Manchester) City."

Southampton's improved performance, following Wednesday's 6-1 Capital One Cup defeat by Liverpool, came with the return of captain Jose Fonte from injury.

The central defender almost gave his team the lead before Joleon Lescott scored on the stroke of half-time to put Villa in front.

Substitute Oriol Romeu secured the equalising goal from a similar position to Lescott in the 73rd minute, ending Southampton's run of three straight defeats.

But though greater conviction in the final third would have given his team victory, Fonte denied suggestions they are lacking in confidence.

"If you are Aston Villa (who remain bottom of the Premier League) you'd be struggling for confidence," he said. "We're in a good position still. Of course we want to be higher up the table but I wouldn't say there's a lack of confidence.

"We have confidence, it just isn't happening. Next week, I'm sure we'll approach it in a way that the strikers show they can score because they have been working hard as well."

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