We know how much it means to everybody
Tomorrow will see former Liverpool and England midfielder make come up against Burnley for the first time since hanging up his boots and becoming a manager.
He took over in November of last year and will now cup against us twice in under two weeks with us due at Villa Park a week yesterday for the away game.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Gerrard said: “Burnley have got their own style and identity, but I think it’s very disrespectful to say that Burnley just fight and compete. I’ve watched their last three or four games and they’ve got some really good technical players, they’ve got a really strong mentality within the group and they’re desperate to stay in the Premier League.
He added: “We want to finish in a place where we can be satisfied. I don’t think we’re going to be happy or celebrating anything this season because the team, from the beginning of the season to now, has underachieved.
“In the remaining games, it’s about putting ourselves in a place that we can go and build on. We can try and strengthen in the coming window, have a positive pre-season and reset everything going into a brand new season. Those are the short-term priorities.”
Asked to take the first team at West Ham on Easter Saturday, tomorrow will be Michael Jackson’s fifth game in charge. He’s overseen a draw and then three wins. “It’s nice, but it’s about the whole group continuing doing what we’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks,” he said.
Jackson now turns his attention to Aston Villa and he admitted: “It is odd when you’ve not played a team so far at this stage of the season. Villa are a good side, they’ve got a good manager and a good set of staff.
“Again though, it’s like any team in the Premier League, they’ve got strengths and weaknesses, you go up against each other trying to combat that, nothing changes in terms of that. They’ve got some quality players, we know that, and it’s about us being right on the day and attacking those moments. That’s what we’ve done so far.
“We know that if we keep picking up points, then we’re going to be moving in the right direction. The big thing for us is finishing about that red line however it comes. That’s all that matters, that’s my whole focus. Performance, one half of football and keep improving.”
The team were back by a noisy away end last week at Watford. Jackson added: “You only have to look at the response from the fans in the home games and in that away end the other day. They’re a special group. We’re really proud and lucky that we’ve got them with what they’ve done for us so far. What we need from them moving forward is more of the same. If they can keep bring that, it’ll be superb for us.
“We know how much it means to everybody, to the fans and to the club as well. We’re fighting to try and achieve that, that’s our purpose. Sometimes, if you haven’t got a purpose, you’ve got nowhere to go. This group has got one so that’s what we’re fighting to do.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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