Steven Gerrard names one thing he’ll miss about Rangers ahead of first Aston Villa match

Premier League managerial departures so far this season

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Steven Gerrard has said he’ll miss not being in Europe anymore with Rangers, as he prepares to take charge of his first game at Aston Villa. Gerrard led Rangers to the knockout stages of the Europa League during his first two seasons in charge of the club and was on course to do the same in the current campaign.

Rangers will play host to Sparta Prague on Thursday, but Gerrard will no longer be preparing for European nights under the lights at Ibrox and instead will be watching on from a distance.

Gerrard will be hoping he can turn things around at Villa, who have found themselves dragged into a relegation dogfight after a poor string of results.

“I will miss it because I think every player, coach, manager, fan wants to be in Europe,” said Gerrard. “That’s the dream and the long-term goal here.

“We’ll try and provide that as quick as possible. This club has got a fantastic history and connection with Europe from many years ago so that is a dream for everyone sitting at the table, the supporters, everyone.

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“I will miss it next Thursday; I will be watching.

“I wish Rangers the best of luck because, again, I love playing in it as a player and I’ve loved competing in it as a manager so far.

“My focus now needs to turn to the Premier League and FA Cup in the short term.”

After a successful stint at Rangers, Gerrard left the club last week in favour of a move to the Premier League.

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Villa play host to Brighton on Saturday and Gerrard will be looking for a winning to life managing in the Premier League.

When asked if being brave and courageous was part of his character, the Villa boss said: “Very much so. It is what I wanted to become in terms of being player coming through the academy system, coaches and people around me, my own dad said to me, ‘I want you to be fearless. Front it’.

“I am not going to change. For the me, the bigger the size of the challenge, the most excited you should be.

“I was really happy when I walked into the training ground and saw the word ‘fearless’ up as one of the values of the club.

“I think to get to your end goals, it is a major trait that we have to have.

“We want to be prepared as well – the two go hand in hand. I cannot really describe the excitement I am feeling now.”

Villa are currently 16th in the Premier League with ten points from the first 11 games.

Gerrard’s side are just two points clear of the relegation zone, with the likes of Watford and Burnley in touching distance of Villa.

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