By Coral Barry

Micah Richards has revealed he feels the the pain of long-suffering Aston Villa fans as the team rooted to the bottom of the table.

Supporters flooded out long before the final whistle on Tuesday night as the team slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Everton, their third in a row.

Villa are now eight points from safety and the club’s first relegation from the top flight since 1986-87 now appears inevitable.

Speaking to the Villa website about the frustrations of the fans, skipper Richards said: “I feel their pain because Aston Villa – in this situation – it’s hard to take.

“That goes for the players too obviously. It’s hurting us all. When people say that it doesn’t hurt us, as players, that hurts the most because we don’t want to go out and lose every week. It’s not good.

“We will keep going. We are not giving up. We will keep believing.

“I know it’s hard for everyone associated with the club, especially the fans.”

On guard: Villa manager Remi Garde had targeted Debuchy in the January window

Gutted Garde: Villa have managed just two wins under the Frenchman

Mathematically speaking, Villa can still beat the drop with ten league games remaining but their run-in includes matches against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal away from home, while they host Chelsea and Tottenham at their own stadium.

The Midlands club travel to title challengers Man City on Saturday.