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‘Fearless’ Steven Gerrard confident Aston Villa can climb Premier League table

Rangers v Brondby IF – UEFA Europa League – Group A – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Steven Gerrard has vowed to remain “fearless” in his approach to management after taking charge at Aston Villa.

Never one to shirk a challenge, Gerrard’s first managerial role saw him thrust into the melting pot of Glasgow football, where he ended Rangers’ decade-long wait for a Scottish Premiership title and halted Celtic’s dominance.

The 41-year-old now finds himself in charge of another of British football’s traditionally big clubs, a former European Cup winner in the shape of Villa.

“As a player, many coaches and my own dad said to me: ‘I want you to go out there and be fearless and front it’. I’m not going to change,” said Gerrard.

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“For me, the size of the challenge, the more excited you should be. I was really happy when walking into the (Villa) training ground seeing ‘Fearless’ up there as one of the values of the club.

“I think to get to your end goals, it’s a major trait that you and your players have got to have. The other one is ‘Be Prepared’ and they go hand-in-hand.

“I can’t really describe the excitement I’m feeling right now.”

Gerrard, whose three-and-a-half-year spell as Rangers boss ended this month when he quit to replace the sacked Dean Smith at Villa Park, refused to set targets, but he hopes to see Villa starting to climb the Premier League table quickly.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard won the Scottish Premiership title during his spell as Rangers manager (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Villa host Brighton on Saturday and sit 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone after five successive league defeats.

Asked if it will be a longer process with Villa than it was improving Rangers, Gerrard replied: “Who knows? That will depend on me and my staff and the players, how quick we can find a relationship, a togetherness and how quickly we can get used to each other.

“The quicker we can make that happen, the quicker we can get really clear messages across to the players about what we expect in and out of possession, and how organised we can be.

“That will determine the speed of things moving forward. We haven’t got any time to waste, for sure, but there’s a lot of football matches left this season.

“So I’m confident we can put ourselves in a much stronger position than the one we’re in now.

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“We’ve spoken to the players and been really clear in terms of not really focusing on yesterday, or what’s gone on before, and really being positive and upbeat and looking forward to the challenges in front of us.

“We’ve got to be very much aware of our current form, but this weekend gives us an opportunity to change it.

“I’m sure there will be a full house here. I’m sure the fans are going to be terrific. We need to give them a performance to be proud of.

“Everyone has to roll their sleeves up and give more, individually and collectively. When we do, and the players produce that, I’m confident results will change.”