Four tasks on Steven Gerrard's to-do list as he starts first full week at Aston Villa


    Steven Gerrard quit Rangers last week to become head coach at Aston Villa. Gerrard takes over a team which has lost their last five Premier League games and he will be desperate to stem the flow of poor results when Villa host Brighton on Saturday.

    Villa received rave reviews last season as they made huge improvements on their way to an 11th-placed Premier League finish.

    But this season has seen a downturn in fortunes, with the Villans winning just three of their first 11 top-flight matches.

    Results and performances were deemed to be unacceptable and previous boss Dean Smith was sent packing earlier this month.

    Gerrard is now under pressure to move his new side away from the relegation places.

    And Express Sport takes a look at four tasks Gerrard must get stuck into immediately if he is to get the results he is looking for.

    Implement his tactics

    Under Smith, Villa’s formation and tactics have been all over the place this season and their performances have been inconsistent as a result.

    Gerrard needs a game plan and he needs one which works for the group of players Villa have at their disposal.

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    The 41-year-old never won the Premier League as a player but he certainly left his mark on it and is well aware of what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

    There is no doubt Gerrard will set his team up to win matches and he needs to get off to a quick start as Villa have some tough encounters coming their way in December.

    Lift the mood

    The mood at Villa Park seemed ecstatic last season following their final-day survival the previous campaign and a strong run of early-season form.

    But it appears to be the opposite this season, with every defeat casting a darker shadow over Villa Park.

    Gerrard needs to put smiles back on the faces of his players and motivate them to play their best football.

    The ex-England midfielder has always been a leader and he will need to galvanise the group and make them feel like world-beaters.

    That sort of management could well give the Villans the inspiration to storm up the table in the coming months.

    Establish priority January targets

    Gerrard has no doubt already had assurances that he will be backed in the transfer window to enable him to build a squad which can be successful.

    So the former Liverpool star will need to quickly assess where his weaknesses lie and the sort of players he needs to target.

    Only Norwich and Newcastle have conceded more goals than Villa this term, so a few defensive-minded additions would probably be a good starting point for the 2005 Champions League winner.


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