‘Really pleased’ - Gerrard felt Villa bossed Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard felt his team were full value for their victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The former England and Liverpool midfielder was celebrating with the away fans after his fourth win in six games since replacing Dean Smith at Villa Park.
In comparison, an initially bright start for Smith as City boss has tailed off after three successive defeats and just one goal in the last five games – with nine players missing on Tuesday due to injury or Covid-19 issues.
“The plan was to try and finish the game earlier, to try and find that second goal earlier,” said Gerrard, with Ollie Watkins making it 2-0 in the 87th minute.
“Whilst it’s at 1-0 you’re always worried that there could be one instance or something that goes not in your favour that could be damaging.
“But I thought the performance certainly deserved a strong away win, first half I thought we were outstanding, second half we played well in periods but we lost our way for small periods as well.
“That was probably down to us changing a few things but, listen, the week has been challenging away from here, losing staff members and players.
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“We had to cancel a training session on Sunday, we only had one session going into this game, on the back of Anfield.
“I’m really pleased that we came here, won away with a clean sheet and with a really strong performance.”
While the hosts made four changes to their starting XI and also lost Ozan Kabak to injury just before the break, Villa made just one from the team that started their 1-0 loss at Liverpool on Saturday.
With some coronavirus cases in their own camp as well, Jed Steer, Anwar El Ghazi and Morgan Sanson dropped out of their squad and former Canaries star Emi Buendia was pictured grimacing as a foot injury was iced in the away dugout after he was replaced in the second half.
Gerrard, whose team moved up to ninth ahead of Wednesday night’s games, continued: “We looked really organised throughout the game, I thought we managed the game extremely well.
“We only had one little moment when Ash (Young’s) back-pass was slightly short but besides that we have controlled the game in and out of possession.
“We’ve got some big leaders out there, a decent spine to this time, that we really want to manage on the pitch during games for us staff, the likes of Tyrone (MIngs) and Emi (Martinez) in goal, John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Danny Ings.
“We’ve got some experienced bodies on there, Ashley Young as well, they’ve been there, they’ve done it and you could really see that in the performance.
“We came here for one thing and that was to win the game with a clean sheet and the players have delivered.”