London - Aston Villa's new manager Remi Garde believes he
can reverse his side's wretched run and lift them off the bottom of the Premier
League but stopped short of guaranteeing their top flight survival next season.
Villa began the season by beating Bournemouth but have since
lost nine of 10 league games, including their last seven, a run that resulted
in the club parting company with Garde's predecessor, Tim Sherwood, last month.
Villa, ever present in the Premier League since its creation
in 1992, announced that 49-year-old former Olympique Lyonnais coach Garde had
signed a four-year contract on Monday.
Garde said fans should not expect miracles.
Also read: New Villa manager plays down French connection
"I'm not a dreamer or a magic man, I have strong
ideas," he told reporters ahead of his first game in charge against
leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
"I haven't the certainty we will stay in the Premier
League because the situation we are in is difficult, but I have a strong belief
we will do it."
Garde, who watched from the stands as Villa slumped to a 3-1
defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, said he would have rejected the job if
he felt he could not turn things around.
"If I didn't think I could change things I would have
said 'No, this job is not for me', but I've got the hope that we can do it.
"I just want to be manager of a winning team. As for
the way we are going to do it, I need more time for that ... but I have not
come to prepare for next season in a lower division."
Villa were hit badly by the sales of players such as striker
Christian Benteke to Liverpool and midfielder Fabian Delph to Manchester City
in the transfer window, while new recruits such as Jordan Ayew and Adama Traore
have so far struggled.
Garde said he had the final say on all transfers but was
happy to work within Villa's recruitment structure.
"I think it's normal to have a sporting director -- I
had one at Lyon, where I also had a big chairman, a chief executive and a chief
scout," he said.
"What is normal is that I will have the final say,
which is very important for me, but I cannot watch games all over Europe."
Garde also said that despite the large French connection at
the club, players must communicate with each other in English.
"The players can talk French one to one in my
office," he said. "Everywhere else it's English."For
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