Steven Gerrard: ‘I won’t feel sorry for myself’ – Aston Villa boss believes he can turn form around


Gerrard has won 13 of the 39 matches he has taken charge of as Aston Villa boss
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard says he will not “feel sorry for myself” as he looks to steer the club away from the Premier League relegation zone.

Gerrard is under increasing pressure with Villa sitting 16th in the table having won just two games this season.

The former Liverpool midfielder was jeered after Villa’s defeat by Chelsea on Sunday, but he insists he has “total trust” in himself and his players.

“The outcome was a defeat but we’ll take the positives,” said Gerrard.

Appointed as Dean Smith’s successor last November, Gerrard led Villa to Premier League safety but the club’s fanbase has grown increasingly disgruntled this season after just two wins this term.

After beating Southampton on 16 September, Villa drew with fellow strugglers Leeds United and Nottingham Forest before losing to Chelsea having found Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in inspired form.

But despite Villa’s recent troubles, Gerrard remains steadfast in his belief that he can turn their season around.

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“I have total trust and belief in myself and this group of players,” the former Rangers boss said before Thursday’s match away to Fulham.

“It is well documented we are missing big players, a lot of the improvement that we tried to make in the last window are not available to help us.

“With that support, we might have been in a healthy position. They are on their way back and that is a positive.

“Every coach and manager you speak to will speak about time but I’m not going to hide away from anything.

“I want to be judged in the now as well. I totally understand the situation we’re in and how important it is to have a positive week.”

Fulham boss Marco Silva has been sacked by Watford and Everton during his managerial career and has backed former England and Liverpool midfielder Gerrard to deal with the pressure he is under.

“I’m 100% sure that Steven Gerrard knows how to deal with this situation, he has all the experience as a football player,” Silva said.

“Of course as a manager he has some experience as well in how to deal [with it]. All of us in this job know that you have to enjoy [it] really, you know that people will highlight all the stuff in the tough moments.

“But our careers are so long, even if you are a young manager it’s so long.

“I’ve been managing more than 10 seasons already and all the good moments I had as well, I focus on that.

“All the other moments make you stronger and make me better every single day. Thye ease the pressure that I put on myself.

“We have to live with this pressure and this pressure that is normally behind us has to be a privilege.”

Gerrard backs Coutinho to find best form
Philippe Coutinho is yet to score this season
Villa’s cause has not been helped by Philippe Coutinho’s dip in form with the Brazilian yet to score or assist in 10 Premier League appearances since signing from Barcelona in the summer.

Coutinho impressed during his loan spell at Villa Park last season and Gerrard insists he has “full confidence” that the 30-year-old will rediscover his best form.

“We signed Phil, you could see from afar he wasn’t happy at Barcelona,” said Gerrard.

“The age he’s at and the talent, I very much have full confidence and belief in Phil. The stats suggest he’s not at his best, which we all understand, but we will give him every bit of support he needs.

“He’s pushing and trying. Like the team, he might just need some luck. But you don’t lose talent and class.

“He blew the roof off Villa Park [when he arrived], he blew everyone’s imagination. It is still there, my opinion on him won’t change ever because I see it on a daily basis, he just has to replicate it in games.”


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