Steven Gerrard admits the opportunity to become Aston Villa head coach was “too big” to turn down, while the former Liverpool captain said he will do his best to ignore the “noise” over next month’s Anfield return.
Villa sacked Dean Smith following a run of five straight defeats, with Gerrard leaving his role as Rangers manager on Thursday to sign a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League club.
“Aston Villa sells itself – an iconic football club,” Gerrard told VillaTV. “I know [it] pretty well from the outside, and I’m very much excited to get involved inside and start building relationships.
“I like a challenge. I like a risk. It’s something I’m really looking forward to getting into. This club will suit me because I know the fans are very passionate and there’s a demand and pressure to win. That’s something I’ve lived with since I was 17.”
Gerrard had been in charge of Rangers since June 2018, and led the club to the Scottish Premiership title last season, ending Celtic’s nine-year reign as champions.
Describing the process of swapping Rangers for Villa, Gerrard said it was “crazy and very quick”.
“I was first aware of Aston Villa’s interest on Wednesday, I had a call from my representation, and when the phone call sunk in, I wanted this to happen very quickly, because first and foremost the opportunity was too big,” Gerrard added.