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Aston Villa captain Richards issues pledge to fans

Aston Villa captain Micah Richards has assured the club's fans the team will not give up the fight against Premier League relegation.

Remi Garde's side were beaten 3-1 at Sunderland on Saturday to leave them 11 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table, with only one win from their first 20 matches of the league campaign.

Furious Villa fans vented their anger as the players boarded the team bus to leave the Stadium of Light, with many chanting "you're not fit to wear the shirt" at the beleaguered squad.

But Richards insisted the players are united in their determination to beat the drop, writing on his official Twitter account:  "I just want to say to all of you great Villa fans that I can assure you that me, the whole team and everyone at the club will be giving absolutely everything from now until the end of the season.

"There are 18 games to go and we will give everything for the badge!"

Villa travel to Wycombe Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday, before a home league game against Crystal Palace on January 12.