Aston Villa 1 Bournemouth 2: Caretaker manager Eric Black conceded relegation is inevitable with Aston Villa on the brink of dropping out of the Barclays Premier League.
Steve Cook and Josh King scored to give Bournemouth a deserved win and Black knows they cannot escape their first relegation since 1987.
“It’s been a difficult year for everyone. We’re not relegated as yet but we’re not far off. It’s not been in the last month it has happened and it’s now looking irreversible,” he said, after Norwich’s 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace gave Villa a stay of execution.
“We have to be professional until the end. I will certainly do that. We have five very difficult games coming up against some of the best teams in the world.
“It’s not a great state of affairs but we have to go go again Monday morning. We don’t have a choice and we have to get something back into this wonderful club.”
Villa supporters also jeered their side from the kick-off and Black understood their views.
He said: “I looked at some stats which showed we have won 18 or 19 home games in 80 which is four-and-a-half games a season. That doesn’t get the fans jumping and filling you with confidence.
“The fans have every right to voice their opinions and if I was one of them I don’t think I would be jumping up and down. The time has come for the club to give something back to the fans now.”
Bournemouth all but sealed survival despite Jordan Ayew scoring late on for Villa. And boss Eddie Howe admitted victory was vital ahead of games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United in the run-in.
“It feels really good, we have been disappointed with how we played in the previous two games and we knew the importance of today when you look at the rest of our fixtures,” he said.
“That was reflected in our performance. It was a game of few chances but luckily we took ours when they came. The togetherness been at the core of all our success. We have a squad of players who have given absolutely everything. They have devoted their careers to self-improvement. “
Striker Callum Wilson also returned as an injury-time sub having been out since September with a knee injury.
Guzan, Bacuna, Lescott, Clark, Cissokho, Sinclair (Traore 71), Lyden (Gestede 46), Westwood, Richardson (Grealish 84), Gana, Ayew.
Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Gradel (Pugh 58), Grabban (MacDonald 87), King (Wilson 90).
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