Belfast Telegraph

No more excuses, Kevin MacDonald tells Aston Villa

Kevin MacDonald has told Aston Villa's struggling stars the time for excuses is over.

The caretaker manager believes the squad must discover their form now with the club bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

They go to Tottenham on Monday having lost their last six league games, a run which marked the end for former boss Tim Sherwood.

He brought in 13 new players in the summer but was axed last Sunday and Villa are targeting former Lyon boss Remi Garde as his replacement.

But MacDonald admits the club cannot continue to cut their summer arrivals any more slack.

He said: "We keep making excuses for them, you can't keep making excuses. They are professional footballers who are getting well paid in the Premier League. There are no excuses.

"People say give them seven months (to settle), when I came down from Scotland all those years ago you were given three weeks.

"Jock Wallace (former Leicester boss) said to me 'three weeks Kevin, get yourself fit and if you're the best player, you're in the team'.

"That's the way I worked before. If you are the best player in training, you get the chance to be the best player on the pitch.

"If you're the best player on the pitch you stay in the team, that's what's going to happen here."

Sherwood was sacked just eight months into a three-and-a-half year deal but, ahead of the meeting of his two former clubs, MacDonald did not rule out asking for his help.

He said: "I would probably do that but we also have to look at little things ourselves.

"Sometimes you have to listen to other people and be open-minded, but if it comes to it I'm sure Tim would help if I did speak to him."

Villa have never been relegated from the Premier League but MacDonald knows his players fear the drop in status.

He added: "We're bottom of the league. They do worry about the situation and where we are.

"There is a big difference between being known as a Premier League player and being known as a Championship player."

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