Players affected by staff job losses, says Villa caretaker Black

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Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black insists the players have been hit hard by staff redundancies.

The club must make cutbacks as they face up to life outside the Barclays Premier League following relegation earlier this month.

They are bottom and go to Watford on Saturday aiming to avoid equalling a club record run of 11 straight defeats.

Villa have already started the process of redundancies and Black admits the squad, who have won just three times in the league this season, are feeling for those who will lose their jobs.

"On Monday, a lot of people around and close to the first team were told that they might not be in employment," he said.

"So that's had a real personal affect on everybody around and about the club - and at the training ground especially.

"I'm not saying we should have any sympathy with the players in any shape or form, but one or two have said to me how difficult this has become for some people at the club.

"Now the human element has kicked in and it makes the experience a lot harder to stomach."

Villa have been relegated from the top flight for the first time since 1987 and last lost 11 straight league games in 1962-63, when they finished 15th in the old First Division.

And Black is desperate to avoid equalling the record at Vicarage Road as he considers using it to try to inspire his troops.

He said: " It's not something I want to be associated with as you can imagine. It's not a great record to be part of.

"That's all I've focused on this week, to make sure we can avoid it. The record is something I can bring up close to the kick-off though.

"I'd consider mentioning it, but we've been concentrating on how we can beat a very good Watford team."

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Premier League
Micah Richards
Aston Villa
Gabriel Agbonlahor

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