Steven Gerrard vows to use leaving Rangers and Europa League football behind as fuel to surge Aston Villa into the European qualification places
- Steven Gerrard is setting his sights on getting Aston Villa into European football
- The Liverpool legend takes charge of his first game as Villa boss against Brighton
- Leaving behind Rangers and Europa League football will act as fuel for Gerrard
- Villa have not been involved in continental football since way back in 2010
Steven Gerrard has revealed that leaving Rangers’ Europa League campaign has made him doubly determined to bring European football back to Aston Villa.
The 1982 European Cup winners have not been involved in continental action since 2010 and qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League has been a priority for Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens since they bought the club in 2018.
After winning the UEFA Cup and the Champions League as a player with Liverpool, Gerrard guided Rangers to the last 16 of the Europa League last season and he will be watching when they face Sparta Prague at Ibrox next week.
Steven Gerrard is setting his sights on getting Aston Villa back into European football
‘I will miss it because I think every player, coach, manager and fan wants to be in Europe,’ said Gerrard. ‘That’s the dream and the long term goal here.
‘We’ll try and provide that as quickly as possible. This club has got a fantastic history and connection with Europe from many years ago so that is a dream for the supporters.
‘I will miss it next Thursday, I will be watching. I wish Rangers the best of luck because, again, I love playing in it as a player and I’ve loved competing in it as a manager so far.
‘My focus now needs to turn to the Premier League and FA Cup in the short term.’
Gerrard has been getting to grips with the Villa squad ahead of his first match on Saturday
Gerrard can expect backing in the January transfer window and it seems clear he will try to reshape his squad, although he insists it is still too early to decide how.
He added: ‘I think it’s too soon. What we will promise is in the background we’ll have private conversations and we’re always striving to be better in every department.
‘It’s very important we analyse the current squad we’ve got and we need more training time.
‘We need to face more challenges in terms of games and then we can pick it up from there. But this club’s got all the structures in place, all the departments in place, and conversations will happen in the background.’