Steven Gerrard vows to use leaving Rangers and Europa League football behind as fuel to propel Aston Villa to European qualification spots.
- Steven Gerrard aims to bring Aston Villa to European football
- Liverpool legend takes over his first game as Villa manager against Brighton
- Leaving Rangers behind and Europa League football will fuel Gerrard
- Villa has not been involved in continental soccer since 2010.
Steven Gerrard has revealed that leaving the Rangers campaign in the Europa League has made him doubly determined to bring European football back to Aston Villa.
The 1982 European Cup champions have not been involved in continental action since 2010 and qualification 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 Champions League as a player for Liverpool, Gerrard guided Rangers to the last 16 of the Europa League last season and will be on the lookout when they face Sparta Prague in Ibrox next week.
Steven Gerrard is aiming for Aston Villa to return to European football
“I will miss it because I think all the players, coaches, coaches and fans want to be in Europe,” Gerrard said. ‘That is the dream and the long-term goal here.
We will try to provide it to you as soon as possible. This club has a fantastic history and a connection to Europe for many years, making it a fan dream.
‘I’ll miss it next Thursday, I’ll be watching. I wish the Rangers the best of luck because, again, I love playing as a player and so far I have loved competing in it as a coach.
“My focus now should be on the Premier League and the FA Cup in the short term.”
Gerrard has been getting acquainted with Villa’s team ahead of their opener on Saturday.
Gerrard can expect support in the January transfer window and it seems clear that he will try to reshape his team, although he insists it is still too early to decide how.
He added: ‘I think it’s too early. What we promise is that, in the background, we will have private conversations and we always strive to be better in all departments.
“It is very important that we analyze the current squad we have 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 has all the structures in place, all the departments in place and the conversations will take place in the background. ”