Steven Gerrard explains big Aston Villa plans, as Liverpool rumours shut down

Steven Gerrard explains big Aston Villa plans, as Liverpool rumours shut down

New Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has outlined the club’s ambitious plans, while also responding to links with the Liverpool job.

The former midfielder was speaking at his first press conference since taking over last Thursday. He has come in to replace lifelong fan Dean Smith, who was sacked after a run of five straight league defeats.

Gerrard had a great relationship with the fans at Rangers thanks to their Invincibles campaign in 2020-21. But when the West Midlands outfit came knocking, Gerrard couldn’t refuse.

“The opportunity to be back in the Premier League and to be back close to my family were the two main reasons for me [to join],” he said (via Football Daily).

On the Villans’ aspirations, he continued: “Success is always about winning football matches. Long term the club would like to be back at the European level. It’s about focusing on the short term which is Brighton [on Saturday] and getting back to winning matches.”

Attention then turned to Gerrard’s former club, who are closing in on the appointment of Dutchman Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

“It was a difficult decision [to leave Rangers], I left with a heavy heart,” Gerrard admitted. “I built up some fantastic relationships up at Rangers, it’s a club I’ve got fantastic respect for.

“I was given a remit three-and-a-half years ago at Rangers, we went on a journey and we completed that remit. Around ten days ago the opportunity came to join another iconic club – I think it’s important to make sure this press conference is about Aston Villa.”

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But Gerrard is a Liverpool legend and it’s no surprise that he was then asked about taking over at Anfield one day.

“I don’t think this press conference should be about any club but Aston Villa,” the 41-year-old said. “We have to show respect to our supporters. Everyone knows what Liverpool means to me, but my focus and commitment is very much on Aston Villa.

“I said last week that I’m all in, and I can promise our supporters that’s the case.”

Gerrard arrival is ‘fantastic moment’ – Villa chief

Villa’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, was also at the press conference. He said: “We were lucky enough to have numerous applications, and for Steven to come through is a fantastic moment in our club’s history.

“I think Steven’s arrival will reignite the club and push us forward. Playing in Europe is something that is an exciting dream for our fans. What Steven has promised is continual improvement in our team.”

Smith, meanwhile, will not take any time out after immediately agreeing to become Norwich City’s new boss.

On his appointment, the West Bromwich-born manager said he was ‘really pleased’ to be in charge of the Canaries. His main aim is to keep them in the top flight, which could be an incredibly hard task.

READ MORE: Euro giant arrives to steal Aston Villa striker target as ‘informal talks’ held

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