(Reuters) – Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said finishing the season in the top half of the table would represent a job well done having taken over when the Premier League club was hovering two points above the relegation zone.
Villa were 16th in the league when they appointed the former Rangers boss in November. The club now sit 11th in the standings — a point behind Crystal Palace — ahead of Liverpool’s visit on Tuesday.
“It would be a satisfactory end to the season considering where we were when we took the job,” Gerrard told reporters on Monday.
“The first remit was to move the team into a safe place, first and foremost. Now we’re in a place with four games left where there’s a possibility to finish in the top 10.
“I think that would be a huge positive considering the club hasn’t done it for a decade. That would give us a positive base to go and have a real strong pre-season from.”
Villa face a Liverpool side looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Manchester City as the title race winds down.
Gerrard, who came through Liverpool’s youth system and spent over two decades with the club, said Juergen Klopp’s side are currently the “best team in the world”.
“They’re a world class team,” he said. “We’re well aware of the challenge.
“I’ve spoken many times about how I respect the coach and the coaching staff there. You either fear that or you put your shoulders back and try and take it on and find situations where you can have your moments in the game.”
Gerrard confirmed midfielder Jacob Ramsey will miss the game as he continues to nurse a groin injury.
“The squad will be very similar to what it was (in the 3-1 win away) at Burnley,” he said.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)