Soccer-'I'm all in', new boss Gerrard promises Villa supporters

FILE PHOTO: File photo of new Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard in a Europa League game in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - December 12, 2019. Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Steven Gerrard promised Aston Villa supporters that the Premier League club has his full commitment despite his strong attachment to former side Liverpool, the new coach said in his first news conference on Thursday.

Gerrard, who led Rangers to the Scottish title last season, was appointed Villa manager last week, succeeding Dean Smith who was sacked with the club in 16th place in the league, two points above the relegation zone after 11 games.

The former midfielder spent the majority of his playing career, 17 years, at Liverpool and helped them win several trophies including the Champions League and then began his coaching career at the club's youth academy.

However, Gerrard insisted his focus was on Villa and leading them up the league table with his first match coming on Saturday at home to Brighton & Hove Albion.

"Everyone knows around the world what Liverpool means to me but the focus and my commitment is very much on Villa," the 41-year-old said.

"I said last week in a one-to-one (club interview) that I'm all in and I can promise the supporters that's the case."

Villa are one of the few English sides to have won the European Cup, in 1982.

Although supporters would dream of a return to continental competition, Gerrard insisted the immediate priority was winning games, especially with the club on a five-match losing streak in the league.

"Success is always about winning matches. In the long term the club would like to be back at the European level. I don't think it's the right time now to put any specific date on that," he said.

"But for me more importantly it's about focusing on the short term, which is Brighton at the weekend, we need to start winning matches again and moving up the table, so that's the short term goal."

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Italy's Supreme Court confirms Brazil striker Robinho 9-year rape verdict
Soccer-Arsenal will defend derby postponement 'with teeth and nails' - Arteta
Soccer-Argentina rest Messi for World Cup qualifiers
Soccer-Back-to-the-wall Mahrez wants Algeria to do their talking on the pitch
Soccer-Lille sign midfielder Ben Arfa on free transfer
Soccer-Liverpool attack is evolving without Salah and Mane, says Lijnders
East German soccer star 'Dixie' Doerner dies aged 70
Soccer-Seven players test positive for COVID-19 in Tunisia camp
Soccer-Italy agrees new sport protocol to avoid further fixture farce
Soccer-Giantkillers Comoros face nailbiting Cup of Nations wait

Others Also Read