Steven Gerrard aims for European football with Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard has said he hopes to secure European football with Aston Villa.

Gerrard, 41, was speaking to the press for the first time since leaving Scotland’s Rangers team to take over at Villa Park after Dean Smith was sacked.

Villa sit 16th in the Premier League table after a disappointing start to the campaign – but Gerrard has said he wants to bring Villa back to European competition.

Villa last played in Europe in the 2010-11 season, when they lost 4-3 in the play-off to Austrian side Rapid Wien.

Gerrard said: “Success in football is always about winning football games, first and foremost. In the long term, the club would like to return to European level, I don’t think this is the right time to put a date on that.

“For me more importantly it’s about focusing on the short term, which is Brighton at the weekend. We have to start winning football games again.

The former Liverpool and England midfielder added he left Rangers with a “heavy heart” after leading the club to Scottish Premiership success last season.

He added: “It was a tough decision and I certainly left with a heavy heart, I built a fantastic relationship with Rangers, it’s a club I have immense respect for.

“I was given a mandate three and a half years ago, we made a trip and we completed this mandate. “

(Photo: Getty Images)

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