Aston Villa boss Remi Garde was left to rue the collapse of his team against Stoke City on Saturday, citing that their fragile nature of play has cost them once more this season, as they went down 2-1.
Having battled fairly well to keep the Potters at bay, and the score at 0-0, until the break, Villa fell apart at the start of the second half. Conceding twice in an 11 minute spell after the break, Marko Arnautovic bagging both, the Villans never recovered.
Speaking to the media following the game, the Frenchman admitted that his team "started the second half too poorly", and the reasoning of that was "the fragility of the team", which ultimately cost them.
Stoke defeat tough to take following positive first half
That came after the aformentioned first 45 minutes, on which Garde said his side "defended well". Adding that although they "created not too many chances", he did think that his team "played quite well in the first half".
Trying desperately to find more positives, which is tough given Villa's situation, Garde praised his players for "improved team spirit", after criticising them for a lack of passion in the previous game - a 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
Still, he told that "it's a very difficult defeat", even more so after the hope of a late fightback. Leandro Bacuna pulled a goal back with 12 minutes to go, but Villa failed to capitalise on their momentum, Garde quipping that "it's difficult for us at the moment to create chances".
Basement battlers are devoid of confidence
This may well be due to a lack of confidence, something to be expected when you've only taken 16 points from 27 Premier League games. The manager said that "week after week, I see individuals make mistakes", offering the suggestion that "when you're bottom of the table, it's difficult to play with confidence".
Starting at home to Everton on Tuesday, Villa now have 11 games to save their season. Attempting to give the fans hope, Garde said; "we can still win enough games to be safe", but deep down, he must know the end is near.