‘No disrespect to Dean Smith’ – Ollie Watkins reveals key Steven Gerrard difference at Aston Villa

Official kits from the 2021/22 season are among Kitbag's sales and discounts


Ollie Watkins claims ‘the standards have gone up’ at Aston Villa following the arrival of Steven Gerrard as the club’s new head coach.

The former Rangers boss was courted as Dean Smith’s successor when Villa saw fit to sack their previous manager following a poor run of results which culminated in his exit at the start of the November international break.

Villa had lost five Premier League games in a row prior to the interval, but after the appointment of Gerrard, Villa won their first game since September at the weekend, in a 2-0 victory over Brighton at Villa Park.

Late goals from Watkins and Tyrone Mings defeated Graham Potter’s high-flying Seagulls as Gerrard got off to the perfect start as a Premier League manager.

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And Watkins told the BBC after the win: “It was nice. I try and do that every time in training and luckily it went in today. It was a nice feeling to get my first goal in front of the Holte End.

“Brighton must have had 65% possession – they are a very good team and controlled the game. It was hard for us because it was the first game back after some results. It was nice to see the game out after losing a 2-0 lead against Wolves the other week.

“It has been a change but it has been really good. It has been intense and the standards have gone up – that is no disrespect to Dean Smith but he’s brought in some new rules and everybody was on it.

“I’ll be here all day if I was to say the rules – there are quite a few.”

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard comments on January transfer window as Aston Villa handed Man Utd update

READ MORE: Aston Villa fans go wild as they spot huge double boost for Steven Gerrard

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