Steven Gerrard believes Aston Villa can build on their win over Southampton on Friday night.
The head coach was encouraged by aspects of his team’s performance as they battled hard to end a four-game winless streak with a 1-0 victory at Villa Park. While his team’s attack was not fluid, Gerrard was pleased with how they leveled out a win against the Saints.
With Premier League football returning for the first time since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, both sets of players, joined by their managers, gathered in the centre circle for a minute’s silence and an emotional rendition of the national anthem before kick-off.
A goal from Jacob Ramsey separated the two sides, and Aston Villa were awarded the three points after the final whistle.
There was a hint of controversy about the winner, with Ramsey clearly offside in the build-up, but when Gavin Bazunu tipped an Ollie Watkins header against the bar and Mohammed Salisu’s clearance landed kindly at the feet of the Villa man, Ramsey was deemed to have scored legally following a VAR review.
After Southampton’s loss to Aston Villa, Steven Gerrard said:
“It feels nice. You can win football matches in different ways.
“We’ve lost football matches since I’ve been here by playing well and that feels really terrible, so to win today in the way we did wasn’t stylish or pretty but it was full of guts, full of fight and full of togetherness.
“It was a really strong performance out of possession by our team Aston Villa and the boys deserve credit for that.”
“I thought we were really good to a certain point and then we had a little bit of anxiety in our play.
“We were forcing the last pass, we didn’t have enough quality in our last little bit but we managed to force the breakthrough.
Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey was in the right place to lash home the decisive goal after 41 minutes for Aston Villa following a spell of pressure on the visitors’ goal.
But it was Villa’s performance at the other end of the pitch that was a major plus point from the evening as they kept a first clean sheet of the season.
“I’m pleased with the clean sheet just as much as the win because it gives us something to build on,”
“We should go to Leeds now with a lot more confidence. Our last two performances have been strong.
“As we move up the table we’ll feel more relaxed and more calm. I’m very confident that we’ll have enough quality in the squad to play prettier stuff, but we must always have the character and be able to stick together. We’ve shown that in abundance the last two games.”