Steven Gerrard reacts to Aston Villa boos but still has ‘confidence and belief’ in struggling players

·3-min read
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard Credit: PA Images
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard Credit: PA Images

Steven Gerrard is fully behind his struggling players but accepts the groans around Villa Park after Aston Villa suffered a 1-0 home loss to West Ham on Sunday.

Pablo Fornals’ deflected strike in the 74th minute gave the visitors victory after Villa had a first-half goal disallowed when Lucas Digne’s corner went out of play before Ezri Konsa swept home.

But 16 minutes from time, Fornals’ shot struck Konsa and looped over Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

The loss sees Villa stay 15th in the table, with just one win from their opening four games.

And speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Gerrard revealed his disappointment: “I was really happy in the first half, thought we were the better team and controlled but we didn’t create enough to trouble their keeper.

“The game was finely balanced at half-time but they made a couple of changes and we stopped keeping the ball.

“The game was there for either team but obviously the deflected goal is a big moment. After that, it was a game of basketball, end-to-end, we threw everything at it, but one moment has swung it West Ham’s way and that’s tough to take right now.”

Asked what his side could have done differently, Gerrard added: “Just provide a bit of quality or cutting edge. We scored a goal but the ball was marginally outside but we never created enough good chances in the first half.

“They looked more positive in the second half but we didn’t play with the same control.

“We tried to be positive with our subs that didn’t help us. I can’t fault the effort or application – we’ve lost a close one.

“I’ve got confidence and belief in this group but the players have to support each other.”

Villa, Gerrard targeted by boo-boys

On Villa being booed at full-time, he added: “Very much so [understanding fans’ frustrations]. We haven’t got enough points on the board.

“I realise that and take responsibility but I want to act and I hope the players feel the same.”

Also speaking after the game, Ezri Konsa told Sky Sports: “It’s a tough one to take. The fans were excellent and stuck behind us the whole game, but it just didn’t go our way. We have to keep our heads up.

“We’ve got another important game on Wednesday so the only thing we can do is regroup on the training pitch and try to get a victory on Wednesday.

“It’s tough times but I’m sure we’ll get through this.

“We didn’t really test their keeper with our shots but they had a freak goal with a big deflection from me, but there’s nothing we can do but move on.

“I felt we dominated in the first half but things just didn’t go our way. We didn’t create enough clear-cut chances.”

READ MORE: Aston Villa notified of interest from Dutch giants for out-of-favour winger

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