Remi Garde insists only Aston Villa’s fragile players can restore their battered confidence ahead of tomorrow’s crucial trip to Sunderland.
The Villa Park boss believes his rock-bottom squad need to rediscover their inner belief after a disastrous first half of the season.
“When you lose so many games at the start of the season, the impact of this is probably huge,” he told avfc.co.uk.
“This is why I am always talking about the fragility and lack of confidence within the team.
“Saying that the solution is within the team and within the dressing room – it’s nowhere else.
“You have to analyse what happened individually but then say ‘I have pride, I am healthy, I am fit, I want to win games’ and then ‘I have to behave like that’.
“If not you say ‘I have this problem’, ‘The team has this problem’ and you never go forward.”
“I feel champions are very strong in the mind. I have to be as well.
“I have to build the atmosphere that will allow the players to flourish.
“For me when I was a player, in every successful team I played with, I knew what I had to do on the pitch. For me this is very important. That stuff is my job.”
Villa are bottom of the table with only eight points from 19 games, four behind second-bottom Sunderland and 11 adrift of safety.
Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood are suspended for Villa, serving one-match bans for reaching five bookings this season.
Carlos Sanchez is out with a hamstring injury, and Gabby Agbonlahor is struggling with a back problem but had already been out of favour.