sport

Vlaar: Let's stick together

Ron Vlaar has urged Aston Villa to 'stick together' and realise the club are in a fight for Premier League survival.

Villa have lost four games in a row since beating title challengers Chelsea last month and a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday left Paul Lambert's side just four points above the relegation zone.

Vlaar is determined to put a stop to Villa's losing run and remains confident that the players are capable of picking up enough points to stay up.

"We need to realise the situation we're in and stick together," said the Villa captain. "Results haven't gone our way in the last three weeks and we need the fans behind us.

"We've lost four in a row since we beat Chelsea. We have to stop the sequence and change it around as soon as possible.

"The gap is down to four points, the bottom three are not far behind us and we realise we're going to need more points.

"I know, and I believe, we're capable of getting the results we need. Everyone says one more win will do it, but a lot of teams below us won. Suddenly it's all squeezed together down there and we have to realise where we are.

"I can understand the fans' frustration. They feel it the same as us, but we need to stick together now. This isn't the sort of excitement you want at the end of a season, and we would have preferred to make life easier for ourselves, but the reality is different.

"We have the quality to turn it around, but have to earn the right to change our fortune in the games. We worked hard here and know everything good starts with hard work.

"Of course the injury to Christian Benteke does not help, and it is worst of all for the player himself, but we have to deal with that, take responsibility and not use it as an excuse.

"As a team, we've come through a tough situation last season and I've every confidence we can get through it again, but everyone must fight for it - starting next week against Southampton."