Aston Villa new manager, Steven Gerrard has frowned to claims that accepting the English side job was a stepping stone towards his dream of one day becoming Liverpool manager.
Gerrard left Scottish side Rangers to take over at the Midlands club after they sacked Dean Smith.
The 41-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Villa.
“I’m all-in and I will give this job everything that it needs for it to be a success. I’ll be 100% committed and so will my staff,” said Gerrard.
“It’s very unfair and you’ll never hear me saying it’s a stepping stone. For me, I’m really honoured and proud to be in this position.”
Catch up with all the best bits from Gerrard’s first Aston Villa news conference
Former England captain Gerrard played 710 games and scored 186 goals for Liverpool during a 17-year career at Anfield, winning eight major trophies, including the Champions League in 2005.
“There is nothing wrong in football with having dreams and aspirations but Liverpool have got a world class coach [in Jurgen Klopp] that they are very happy with,” he added.
“If he was to sign a lifetime deal right now, then I would be very happy for them and him.”
Gerrard will return to Anfield when his new side play Liverpool on 11 December and said Klopp had been in touch with him following his Villa appointment.
“He’s a great man and a great coach. I think Liverpool are very lucky to have him at the helm and I’m a Liverpool fan so long may that continue,” said Gerrard.
“He sent me a message and said he’s looking forward to a big hug on the side on 11 December so it’s something for me to look forward to.”
‘I want to put my own stamp on things’
Villa are just two points above the relegation zone after picking up 10 points from 11 games and go into Gerrard’s first game in charge against Brighton on Saturday on the back of five consecutive league defeats.
“It has been a whirlwind,” Gerrard said. “It has been great to get on the grass with the players. We have had quite a few internationals away, I am looking forward to meeting the rest of them.
“We are going to play slightly different to what’s been before. I want to put my own stamp on things, my own identity and our philosophy. That will take some time but you will see some changes at the weekend.
“It is a new start. A fresh start. I have told the players to impress me the best way they can on and off the pitch.”
He added: “The stats don’t lie. I think at the moment Aston Villa are the eighth top scorers in the league, which shows you that we have very talented players in the forward areas. The creation has been OK but it can still be fine tuned and be better.
“But, at the moment, the club is conceding too many goals so it is quite clear that we need to tighten up, be more organised and harder to play against. When we do, I believe we will move up the league.”
Saturday’s opponents Brighton are seventh in the top flight but are without a win from their past six league games – a run that has included five draws – as manager Graham Potter goes into his 100th game in charge of the club.
Asked about Gerrard becoming Villa boss, Potter said: “The top players have the potential to be the top managers and Steven’s on that path. I think it’s a fantastic appointment.
“No matter how good they are [Steven Gerrard and his staff], they have only had a couple of sessions so it is unfair to expect three years of Rangers from two sessions at Aston Villa.
“He is not going to fix the world in that time. You can analyse the past but it doesn’t mean it will happen. We will do our best and be ready.”
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