Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton has called on his team-mates to pull together after admitting the club are in "a bit of a mess."
Villa slumped to a fourth defeat in five Barclays Premier League matches with Sunday night's 2-1 loss against a Tottenham side that played for more than an hour with 10 men.
Asked if Villa were embroiled in a relegation battle, Albrighton pulled no punches as he said: "We have to look at it and think 'yeah, it is'. The table doesn't lie."
These are troubled times for Villa and boss Gerard Houllier, and it does not get any easier over the next few days with trips to Manchester City and Chelsea awaiting.
With Villa 15th and just four points above the relegation zone, there lurks a very real prospect they could be in the bottom three come their next home game with Sunderland in eight days' time.
For a young player such as Albrighton, in his first full campaign with the club, it is a steep learning curve. But displaying creditable maturity, the 21-year-old knows exactly what is required of himself and those around him in the weeks and months ahead.
He added: "Against a lot of teams we've played well and created chances, but we've not tucked them away, and we've leaked goals at the back we probably shouldn't have.
"That's why we are down there. If you don't win games then you are going to be down there, and we have to do something about that.
"It's going to be tough to get out of it, but there's nobody who can put that right other than the players. We just have to stick together as a group and hopefully we'll pull something out of the bag.
"We've got ourselves in a bit of a mess, and we just need to pull together to get ourselves out of it."
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