Monday media watch [18.01.16]
Birmingham Mail: Rémi Garde reckons Villa's most recent performances will help convince potential signings to join the club. Arsenal's Mathieu Debuchy and Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane are both on Villa's radar but the pair will only join on loan. Garde who is working tirelessly to add new recruits to his side is hopeful that back-to-back positive home displays will help attract signings but he stopped short of providing in-depth updates on specific targets.
Independent: Rémi Garde still has some way to go to prove he was the right man to take charge of a team in Aston Villa's predicament, but the Frenchman believes his players are at last beginning to understand what he is about. Villa went from four points below a position of safety to 11 adrift as they failed to win any of Garde's first nine matches in charge; but while their chances of escaping the drop remain slim, the last week has delivered improvement in the shape of a win against Crystal Palace and a 1-1 draw with high-flying Leicester City on Saturday.
Daily Mail: Rémi Garde has admitted some members of Aston Villa's squad are not on board with his approach and hinted his team selections reflect this. Rudy Gestede scored a late leveller against Leicester to sustain some of the momentum generated by victory over Crystal Palace as Garde picked the same side for two matches in a row. Gabby Agbonlahor has played just one minute for the Villa manager - back on December 5 at Southampton - and Garde will observe how the club captain trains before picking his team to face Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.
Daily Telegraph: Aly Cissokho, the defender who was recalled by Rémi Garde from a loan spell at Porto, insists the Frenchman can still achieve mission improbable. "Aston Villa's future is in good hands. He knows how to manage teams. I think he will push forward his young players, like he did at Lyon and that can only be good in the long term for Villa," he said. "My agent contacted me to say Aston Villa had been in touch and Remi Garde wanted me to come back from Porto. It took me less than a second to say yes. "Of course I will give everything to help the club stay up. I was disappointed to be told I could go on loan in the summer, but that's football."
Birmingham Mail: Aly Cissokho admits that it took him 'less than a second' to accept a return to Aston Villa. The left-back has played the last three Premier League games after boss Rémi Garde called him back from an unsuccessful loan at Porto. Cissokho was deemed surplus to requirements under the former regime but Garde, who managed him at Lyon, felt he was worthy of a recall.
The Times: Rémi Garde's team are cut adrift but, having appeared to have an impossible job, he is beginning to snarl. With the odd steely glare, we can see a manager unprepared to give up yet. Rudy Gestede was brought on, Villa played a higher line and the striker outmuscled Robert Huth to equalise. The crowd roared approval and for a few minutes relegation did not feel inevitable.
Daily Express: Defender Aly Cissokho said time is not on bottom-of-the-table Villa's side: "Every single point is important for us, so it feels like we have lost two points, not gained one. "There are only 16 games left and we need wins, not draws. But we have played two league games this week and haven't lost so that is good for our spirits."
The Sun: Rémi Garde has confessed that players are not keen to join the club for a relegation scrap. But it took Aly Cissokho, 28, less than a second to jump at the chance of a return to Villa Park once he realised his old Lyon boss was in charge. Now the Frenchman has promised suffering Villa fans that Garde is the safe pair of hands the club needs.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Manchester United are still in the Premier League title race, says manager Louis van Gaal. The Red Devils won 1-0 at Liverpool on Sunday to move back into fifth place, seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal and second-placed Leicester City.
Sky Sports: Swansea City have told Sky Sports News HQ that they are close to appointing former Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin as head coach alongside Alan Curtis. The 60-year-old Italian will work with Curtis, who was made caretaker manager after Garry Monk was sacked in December, until the end of the season.
BBC Sport: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised his side for overcoming a "battle" at Stoke to earn the point that took them back to the top of the Premier League. The Gunners have struggled at the Britannia Stadium in recent years, with their last win coming six years ago.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.