Steven Gerrard says he 'completed' his Rangers remit and explains reasons for Aston Villa move
Steven Gerrard has said he left Rangers with a “heavy heart” but that he “completed” the remit when he took over at Ibrox.
The 41-year-old was announced as Aston Villa’s new boss a week ago, replacing Dean Smith, and was presented to the media for the first time.
He departed Ibrox after nearly three-and-a-half seasons, during which he ended Celtic’s command of the Scottish title, while steering Rangers into the group stages of the Europa League in four consecutive seasons.
The Villa job and a return to the Premier League was an opportunity he “couldn't allow to pass” him by.
He said: "It was a difficult decision and I certainly left with a heavy heart, I built some fantastic relationships at Rangers, it's a club I have got immense respect for.
"I was given a remit three-and-a-half years ago, we went on a journey and we completed that remit.
He added: "It is an extremely proud moment, it is an honour to be head coach of this football club.
"It has been a really happy time for me. The opportunity to be back in the Premier League and the opportunity to be back close to my family are the two reasons this was right for me.
"The opportunity came to join another iconic club and it was an opportunity I couldn't allow to pass me by."
Gerrard has set his longer term sights on taking Villa back into Europe but is keen to steer them away from the relegation zone in the short term with the club just two places and two points above the drop zone.
"Success in football is always about winning football matches, first and foremost,” he said.
"Long term, the club would like to be back on a European level, I don't think now is the right time to put any date on that.
"For me more importantly, it is about focusing on the short-term, which is Brighton at the weekend. We need to start winning football matches again."
Villa chief executive Christian Purslow hailed the appointment.
"The feeling is one of excitement, his drive and determination, his constant pressing himself to be the best he can be and these are personal qualities we think will fit in at this football club in this stage of our evolution," he said.
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