Steven Gerrard believes Aston Villa are well on track under his guidance after praising their collective effort and the impact of one star player in particular.
Villa got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Norwich on Tuesday. Jacob Ramsey put them ahead in the 34th minute with a brilliant solo strike. Then, Ollie Watkins wrapped up the win in the 87th minute.
Gerrard has now overseen four wins from his first six games in charge of Villa. His only defeats have come to the two most recent Premier League champions, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Consequently, Villa are ninth in the table after 17 matches. Gerrard is satisfied with the start he has made, especially with some circumstances becoming more difficult recently.
He told BT Sport: “It was a really strong away performance. I thought we controlled large parts of this game. We were difficult to play against and looked really dangerous.
“At 1-0 you always run the risk [of conceding] so it was nice to see Ollie finish it off.
“The Academy deserves a lot of credit. We’ve some top coaches and we need to keep developing it as we want as many local home-grown players that we can have.
“It has been a challenging week. We lost one to injury, a couple to Covid and some members of staff as well.
“It’s been a positive start for me and we’ve started how we wanted to do and had some really tough games against [Manchester] City and Liverpool.”
Aston Villa striker Wesley likely on the move in January.
Aston Villa striker Wesley, currently on loan at Club Brugge, will likely be on the move once again in January, given his lack of game time.
Gerrard also had praise for Ramsey’s opening goal, in which he took the ball from his own half to the opposition box before firing in.
It was a goal Gerrard may have been proud of himself during his own playing days. Indeed, he was impressed by his fellow midfielder’s effort.
Gerrard added: “As a midfielder you can only applaud that kind of play and to then unleash a shot like that, it should be in the run for goal of the month.”
Ramsey wants to emulate Gerrard
Academy graduate Ramsey has been flourishing in recent months. The 20-year-old had only scored for Villa once before, but has now outlined his potential further.
He was equally happy to get the three points and added Gerrard was a direct influence on his style.
Ramsey told BT Sport: “It was a big win. Norwich were a good side, especially in the second half.
“In the first half we were outstanding on and off the ball so it’s a good win. I saw Ollie knock it off, there was no-one there so I thought, ‘why not?’
“I’ve been watching clips of the gaffer and he was one of the best goalscoring midfielders and that’s what I want to be.
“We’ve got a good Academy and our bench was full of them today. We have a feel-good factor now.”