Villa manager Gerrard says he won’t hide from criticism

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has said he will not hide from the heavy criticism he is facing from parts of the club’s support after Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea caused jeers in the stands.

Mason Mount’s brace gave the visitors a win that put even more pressure on Gerrard, whose side are 16th in the Premier League and a point above the relegation zone. “I think I would be stupid not to care or know where we are and I accept that,” Gerrard said. “Every time I have spoken to the media, I have been open and I will not hide from the responsibility, criticism or noise coming from the stands today.

“But I will say if these players can repeat that first hour up front I don’t think this team will have a problem and they certainly won’t be in the area where they are in the league now.” Former Liverpool skipper Gerrard was also booed off the pitch by Villa supporters after a 1-1 draw with bottom side Nottingham Forest earlier this month. Gerrard said he understands the fans’ frustration after Villa created several good chances against Chelsea before the break, only to be frustrated by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

“I’m aware of it, but it is what it is,” Gerrard said. “I have to accept it and try to do whatever I can to change the way they are feeling at the moment.”

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