'It's time to pull together' - Aston Villa chief Faulkner calls for unity in face of poor form

The club have dropped from 10th to 14th in the Premier League after a run of four consecutive defeats, to leave them four points off the relegation zone with five games to play
Aston Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner has urged everyone associated with the club to "pull together" following a run of poor form.

A run of four consecutive defeats - to Stoke City, Manchester United, Fulham and Crystal Palace - has seen the club drop from 10th to 14th, with the club now sitting just four points off the drop zone with five games to play.

14/1 Aston Villa are 14/1 with William Hill to be relegated this season
Faulkner admits Aston Villa "are hurting" but is confident the squad are capable of a strong end to the season with a positive atmosphere until the end of the season.

An official statement read: "Four games ago, on the back of two good home wins, we were looking up the table and feeling confident of a strong, positive finish to the season.

"Since then we have suffered four consecutive defeats and that is hard to take. We are hurting. Fans are hurting, players and the manager are hurting. The frustration is shared by everyone who loves Aston Villa.

"Now more than ever it's time for us all to pull together - fans, players, the manager, everyone at the Club. Our immediate focus and combined efforts need to be concentrated on our game against Southampton this weekend and on our remaining games this season. We need to channel our energies into creating a positive atmosphere and getting the result we need on Saturday at Villa Park and in the games that follow.

"Our fans have been magnificent throughout the season, as they always are. We are desperate to give them more to cheer about. I'm frustrated when we're not able to do that and I know the manager and players are frustrated as well.

"We know we can handle adversity. What we need now is for everyone to stick behind the team and continue to show the great support that is a hallmark of our club."

Villa face Southampton, Swansea, Hull City, Manchester City and Tottenham before the season finishes.