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Gerrard would swap Liverpool hero status for Villa win on Anfield return

The 41-year-old has won three of his first four games in charge.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

STEVEN GERRARD admits he would be happy to give up his hero status at Liverpool in exchange for an Aston Villa win on Saturday as the Anfield great prepares to return to his former club.

Gerrard, who enjoyed a stellar 17-year playing career with Liverpool, returns there just a month into his reign as Villa boss determined to shut out the “noise”.

The 41-year-old, who left Rangers last month to move to the Premier League, has won three of his first four games in charge, with the only setback being a defeat to champions Manchester City.

“I’m going back to a club where I spent many years and it brings a smile to my face for a couple of reasons,” Gerrard said.

“One, I’ve got a good relationship with a lot of people at the club. I had a fantastic time there, a really good journey, I’m a local boy. It was the team I supported growing up and I will always support that team.

“But at the same time it brings a smile to my face because I’ve got the opportunity to go there and compete against a good team and a good manager and try to win the game. That’s my only focus.

“If I’m on the bus heading back down the M6 towards Birmingham and I’m not the most popular at Anfield, so be it.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp started his own press conference on Friday by joking that he would not take questions about Gerrard.

Klopp was full of praise for Gerrard during the briefing and claimed he is destined to manage the club one day, adding: “I think it will definitely happen and that is good for everybody.”

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- Klopp advice -

Gerrard, who started his coaching career under Klopp in the club’s youth system, said he was grateful for the German’s help.

“The best bit of advice I got from him was take your own team and do it your own way,” he said.

“Evolve, start your own journey and I’ll give you whatever support you need.”

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AFP

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