Steven Gerrard insists the emotion he showed during Aston Villa’s victory over Brighton should end any doubt over his commitment to the job.
Gerrard, 41, took his place in the Villa dugout for the first time since replacing Dean Smith in the post. Smith paid the price for five consecutive top-flight defeats – a woeful run which has now come to an end. It looked as though the spoils may be shared as the game entered the final few minutes goalless.
But Ollie Watkins scored on 84 minutes before Tyrone Mings added a second one minute before the scheduled 90 were up. Gerrard cut his teeth as a manager north of the border with Rangers.
He managed to break Celtic’s stranglehold on the title. A move to the Premier League seemed inevitable.
And the former Liverpool and England midfielder revealed he still gets a rush from the sport – even from the sidelines.
“They are the buzzes and the highs you miss as a player and the reason I wanted to stay in the game,’ said Gerrard, per The Mail.
“I love winning – that is my medicine. I love competing, love seeing the players happy, smiling and feeling good. There is no better sight than a number nine finishing with that class and style.
“I’m trying to control my emotions but I’m kicking every ball. I want to be there for the players on the sidelines and I want them to see me, so I can guide them.”
Villa the sole focus for Gerrard
Football history is littered with ex-players who failed to make the grade as a manager. They were given high-profile jobs on their reputation as a player only to fail miserably in the dugout.
Gerrard is hoping to buck that trend and has made an excellent start to his time as a manager. He has been tipped as a future Liverpool boss.
The Merseysider made 710 appearances in all competitions during a 17-year playing career for the Reds. He was asked whether managing Villa was a stepping stone to the Anfield job in the build up to the Seagulls clash.
And the former England skipper urged sceptics to view his touchline antics for their answer.
“I hate losing. I hate losing when it’s 5v5 or 6v6 in training games. I want to show emotion and always be as authentic as I can,” he added.
“If anyone doubted what it means to me, just watch me after those goals. That was real, that’s the feeling, that’s the way it is.”