Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has said that age cannot be an excuse for the team's poor performances this season.

Villa find themselves in a relegation dogfight and currently sit in the drop zone after Tuesday nights 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle, and with a daunting trip to Everton this weekend, things don't look like getting any easier for Paul Lambert's side.

And Agbonlahor has been honest in his assessment after Villa's latest defeat, admitting that more misery will come if they continue to start matches slowly.

"We have to address it," he told reporters. "I think we need to come out flying in the first-half and then try to keep it going in the second-half.

"You saw with the fans at the end of the game that they were pleased with the second-half performance but we've got to start putting two halves together and that will get us what we need."

Agbonlahor has told his side he wants to see more fighting spirit from them after taking a just two points from their last seven games.

"The experience is there in the side," he insisted. "They are not 18, 19-year-old kids they are all over 20 so it's hard to use that as an excuse. I don't know what it is.

"Whatever it is we have to try to keep fighting and pick up the results. Everyone knows. No-one wants to get relegated and we are all fighting for each other. They know what is needed."

Agbonlahor will have been boosted by the deadline day arrival of Yacouba Sylla, with the 22-year-old midfielder having joined from Clermont Foot for £2m.

Everyone at Villa Park will be hoping that Sylla, Lambert's first and possibly last January addition, can help transform the club's fortunes on the pitch as they continue their fight against relegation.


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