Villa ‘can’t protect’ underperforming players – Black

first_imgAlexandre Pato scored one of Chelsea’s goals at Villa ParkAston Villa’s caretaker boss Eric Black said the players owed the supporters a performance following the 4-0 home defeat by Chelsea.The atmosphere at Villa Park soured as the match went on, with some players booed by the home fans and banners thrown on to the pitch in a co-ordinated 74th-minute protest aimed at reclusive owner Randy Lerner.Villa appear to be heading for the Championship and sacked manager Remi Garde last week, as part of a restructuring at the club which has seen several incomings and outgoings at board level.Black insisted the players would have to cope with the criticism coming their way, and those singled out for abuse would not be taken out of the firing line.He said: “You can’t protect them. We can do as much as we can to prepare them mentally, physically, technically, tactically – but once they go over the line, they’re paid to be professional footballers.“That’s the responsibility that’s put on them and that’s what they have to deal with.“What we have to do is to try and get the supporters back onside. The only way you can do that is by doing it on the pitch.“It’s a massive turnaround required at the club and I think people are on the way to doing that. But it’s going to take time.”Black felt a positive start to the game was undermined by individual errors, with Villa conceding a penalty in first-half injury-time and then a third goal seconds after the restart.He said: “We started the game okay, mainly trying to contain Chelsea more than anything else. Once the [first] goal went in, visibly you can see they take a big dent.“However, to compound that, the penalty a minute before half-time and to concede another one right after half-time, makes it an enormous challenge.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

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