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Lee Hendrie: Aston Villa players will want to fight relegation on the pitch

By Luke Hatfield | Aston Villa | Published: | Last Updated:

Lee Hendrie believes that despite their precarious position, Aston Villa will want to fight for their place in the Premier League on the pitch.

Lee Hendrie.

Villa sit in the relegation zone in the top flight, two points from safety with a game in hand over their opponents.

However, following the suspension of football around the continent and across the globe, the future of this season remains in question, with some suggestions that the league could be nullified should the situation surrounding the virus fail to improve.

That result could save Villa from the threat of relegation or condemn them to the drop depending on what the Premier League decides to do regarding the relegation spots - but Hendrie believes Villa would want the opportunity to fight on the pitch to survive.

"I think with this time that we're under at the moment with the coronavirus, it's just such a difficult time and I think the longer it goes on I feel like the lads will want to get back out there and try and get out of that relegation zone." he said, speaking to Sky Sports News.

"There's no doubt about it, it's been a tough season for Aston Villa it really has.

"On the flip side, they've been to a cup final with a defeat against Man City, but their main priority this season is to stay in the Premier League.

"They've spent a hell of a lot of money, it's a massive club that's found it hard being in the Championship and then getting back into the Premier League.

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"Sitting in that relegation zone at the moment I think they'll be pretty much like every Premier League club, they'll want to see this season through and maintain their Premier League status.

"It's going to be a difficult one, but with a game in hand I certainly think that with the teams in and around, it's such a tight-knit group that it could be anyone out of the bottom six."

Hendrie is insistent that the Premier League should do all it can to finish the season to maintain the league's integrity.

Liverpool are more than 20 points clear of Manchester City and were set to cruise to to the title ahead of the league's suspension.

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However, that's the only area of the table which is essentially cut and dried, with the battle for European spots and to avoid relegation still very much alive.

The former Villa midfielder says the league fixtures must be fulfilled:

"At the moment it's all up in the air and I think I'm like the majority - we certainly want to see this league fulfilled, we want to see fixtures fulfilled." he said.

"There's no doubt that the Premier League clubs have come together, throwing ideas towards the Premier League as how they can fulfill the fixtures. Because I think there's no way on this earth that you want to see the leagues null and void.

"It's just so unfair on the clubs that are sitting top of their leagues, teams are obviously looking for promotion from the Championship and Leagues One and Two.

"You look at the way Liverpool are so far ahead, you just feel it would be a crying shame if they did that.

"They've got to get something in place where they can fulfill the fixtures.

"The more you look at it and the way you look at the league situation at this moment in time and they [Liverpool] are streaks ahead.

"They thoroughly deserve to win the league and be Champions, but to just be handed the trophy it doesn't seem right, it doesn't seem fair.

"I don't think Liverpool would want that situation to be. I think they'd want the game to be fulfilled, where they actually know that they've gone and done it in the correct manner, they've won the games and won it fair and square which they are going to go and do that, there's no doubt about that.

"I think just to be handed the trophy, it's just such a difficult situation to be put in. I feel that it's not the right way, it needs to be whether the fixtures are continuing throughout the summer, going into next season, it has to be finished.

"The league has to be finished so there's no qualms, there's no squabbles about Liverpool being champions of the league."

The EFL has already confirmed their aims to complete current seasons, ahead of thinking about the 2020/21 season - a stance Hendrie agrees with:

"I totally agree, I really do."

"We can talk about the Premier League, but the Championship's been so tight. 

"You look at the way the league's been this season and it's a fabulous opportunity for West Bromwich Albion to get promoted. Leeds, who have been there pretty much the whole season - and to say that wouldn't be fulfilled I just feel that there would be so much uproar in sport, in football.

"They have to get these games fulfilled. 

"The health and safety of everyone associated is obviously the main priority, but whether it means us going into the summer, going into next season and the knock-on effect, because we are going to have a knock-on effect.

"Next season we're going to be playing catch up, but I do feel it's a decision which has got to be made when everyone's back, healthy and going in the right direction - whether it's played behind closed doors I think that's one of the areas we have to look at."

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
Digital Sports Journalist - @LHatfield_Star

Digital Sports Journalist based in Wolverhampton working on the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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