Steven Gerrard has expressed his desire to turn around Aston Villa’s fortunes following his appointment as head coach of the Midlands club.
Gerrard paid tribute to his Villa predecessor Dean Smith but is in no doubt about the size of the task he faces, with the club currently languishing in 16th place after five consecutive defeats.
Speaking to Aston Villa’s official website, Gerrard said: “I like a challenge, I like a risk.
“I think this club will suit me because the fans are very passionate and there is pressure here to win. For me it is about bringing everyone together to believe we can do exciting things together.
“Dean Smith is someone I’ve got a lot of admiration and respect for. I can’t control how things happen but I think the success he’s had here and the respect he’s gained… he’s going to be a hard act to follow.
Getting down to business. 👊 pic.twitter.com/8fGOVgGMfa
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) November 15, 2021
“I think everyone knows I’ve got the job for a reason. The form of late has dipped and for me it is very much a case of getting involved and analysing the squad close up, because there is a lot of talent in this squad.”
The Liverpool legend said his appointment was never in doubt after hearing of Villa’s interest, bringing a swift end to his role at Rangers whom he steered to their first Scottish title in a decade last season.
He added: “I first heard about Aston Villa’s interest on the Wednesday, I had a call from my representation and when the call sunk in, I wanted it to happen very quickly, because the opportunity was too big.
“I’ve learned an awful lot in the past three-and-a-half years. I’ve lived under that pressure to win every week. There was a big building job to do there and I can walk away with my head held high.”
The 41-year-old will take his new team to Anfield next month as they face Liverpool on December 11.
Discussing the fixture – as well as rumours that his long-term goal is to manage the Reds – Gerrard said: “I don’t think me or anyone else will be able to control the noise, but for me that’s not important.
“What’s important is the chance to go to Anfield and win and try to take maximum points, which is the attitude and mentality that we’ll have going into every game.”