Steven Gerrard explains meaningful difference between Aston Villa and Rangers…

Steven Gerrard claims the lessons he learnt as a novice walking by the door at Ibrox three-and-a-half years ago has equipped him well to deal with a frantic start to life as a Premier League head coach at Aston Villa.

The former Rangers boss has made an impressive start at Villa Park, having won both of his opening two games against Brighton and Crystal Palace, before going toe-to-toe with Premier League champions Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Two first-half goals from Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva put City in control at half time, but Ollie Watkins’ early second half goal threatened to start an improbable reappearance for the hosts.

Ezri Konsa and Carney Chukwuemeka then squandered gilt-edged chances to prevent a 2-1 defeat, as Gerrard and his players were left to rue a missed opportunity to take points off Pep Guardiola’s side. Though, after hailing his players’ ‘terrific’ response to going two goals behind to City, Gerrard will be targeting a home clash against Leicester City this weekend to get back to winning ways.

A positive consequence in Sunday afternoon would mark an noticeable start for Gerrard, who thinks he has matured as a manager since his early days as Rangers boss.

He told the High Performance Podcast last year: “I think the first two or three weeks of me going into Rangers were probably the most important two or three weeks.”

And asked by BirminghamLive whether his first three weeks responsible for Villa mirrored the initial pressures he felt at Rangers, Gerrard replied: “Taking my first job in the game, in terms of being up at Rangers, when the points become real, you’ve got cup competitions and you’re competing in front of 50,000, I think it’s more a case of me having to adapt to the first job I took on.

“clearly I can use that experience in this role. I’m a lot more calm, I knew what to expect as I had experienced it before, so it’s very much different and I’m clearly in a different place than what I was three and a half years ago.

“But I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of the first weeks, I’m really excited and looking forward to continuing the good work that we’ve done.

“I’m delighted to be here and going forward.”

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