Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is planning for next season despite refusing to commit his future to the club.
Having won just three games in 21 matches since taking charge in November last year, the Frenchman has remained coy over his plans.
Villa are rock bottom of the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s visit of title-chasing Tottenham.
But, despite the uncertainty surrounding his position, Garde is laying the groundwork for next term – with Villa expected to be in the Sky Bet Championship.
He said: “I’m not talking about (my future) but it’s part of the the job and my duty to work on next season as well.”
Garde replaced Tim Sherwood five months ago, signing a three-and-a-half-year deal, but has consistently said he will review his position at the end of the season.
He has already warned any players expecting to jump ship in the summer they are unlikely to be allowed to leave easily, although he understands their ambition.
The 49-year-old said: “It’s not always bad to have personal perspective and motivation that ‘I want to grow in this football club and play for a bigger one’. As long as it’s in the rules of squad, it’s good to be well motivated.”
Villa are nine points from safety with nine games left having lost their last four matches, including a 6-0 rout against Liverpool – their worst home defeat for 81 years.
They have conceded 15 goals during their recent poor run but Garde, who has the same squad which lost 4-0 at Manchester City last week at his disposal, believes Villa can turn the tide and shock second-placed Spurs.
“I’m thinking in 90 minutes everything is possible when you are putting all the passion and commitment you can on the field,” he said.
“In a 90-minutes game you could close the gap by your attitude and commitment.”