Steven Gerrard felt Aston Villa did not deserve to lose 4-0 to Tottenham on Saturday but accepts that the buck stops with him.
Villa had lost three consecutive top-flight games and five of eight ahead of the Villa Park contest. And they failed to add to their tally of 36 points as Son Heung-Min bagged a superb hat-trick. The South Korea ace gave the visitors a third-minute lead.
He then struck twice after the break following Dejan Kulusevski’s 50th-minute effort. But it was the hosts who dominated the first period, with Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris making several saves.
Gerrard was perplexed as to how the opposition won so easily. And, with a worrying sequence of results, the former England star refused to shirk his responsibilities.
“It’s tough – the scoreline is harsh on us, but it’s the reality and we have to accept that. I have to accept it – I’m responsible,” he told BBC Sport. “The story of the game certainly wasn’t a 4-0 game.
“It’s the first time in football I’ve gone off at half-time 1-0 down and been really happy and proud, we were magnificent, we didn’t take our chances but at half-time I said if we can continue this I have no doubt we get back into the game.
“The second half it flipped, Spurs’ quality players made it about our backline and they punished us really heavily.”
Gerrard urges Villa stars to learn
Aston Villa sit 12th in the Premier League table, with 11 wins under their belt this term. They have drawn only three of their 31 outings, with 17 defeats to their name.
It has been a tough season for the West Midlanders, with Dean Smith sacked after losing five straight games earlier in 2021-2022. Gerrard is just one loss away from equalling that record but there is no sense that he will suffer the same fate as his predecessor.
And the former Rangers chief refused to be too downbeat after the latest reverse.
“To be 1-0 down at half-time was against the run of play, we were outstanding and the chances we’ve created against a top side is enough to win two or three games,” he added.
“We asked them to maintain that at half-time and we tried, we talk about defending the area around 18-yard box and Spurs punished us heavily in that area.”
Villa’s next match is against Leicester City in 14 days time. The manager hopes that gives them time to regroup.
And he wants his men to use the opening 45 minutes as inspiration to take on the Foxes.
“We’ve got time – I don’t know if that’s a good thing, you want the next game quickly after a defeat like that which stings but I’ve got to pick the players up and be ready for the next game,” he continued.
“I want us to remember that first half, we have a lot to learn and defensively in the second half we have even more to learn.”