Remi Garde praised Aston Villa captain Micah Richards for confronting angry fans after the struggling Premier League club were held to a 1-1 draw by fourth tier Wycombe in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
With Villa languishing at the bottom of the table, their embarrassing failure to beat Wycombe only added to the frustration of the club’s traveling supporters at Adams Park.
Richards had given Villa the lead in the first half, only for Joe Jacobson to level from the penalty spot for the underdogs after the interval.
Villa’s rowdy contingent lambasted Villa manager Garde for replacing midfielder Carles Gil, chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing”.
And at the final whistle, Garde and his players came under fire again, prompting Richards to try to placate a group of them behind the managers’ dugout.
“It was brave of him to do that,” Garde told reporters. “As professionals we have to face our responsibilities, not only Micah, me and all the players.
“I understand that the fans could be angry. We have to accept that, as a player, a manager, everybody at the club has to accept that criticism, because we are not winning – that’s football.
“The situation with Aston Villa is very difficult and makes some silly things happen sometimes.
“Everybody has to keep calm, face their responsibilities, look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can do to get out of this difficult situation.”
Frenchman Garde has now gone 10 matches without victory since replacing the sacked Tim Sherwood as Villa boss.