Steven Gerrard made the dream start to his managerial reign at Aston Villa with a victory over Brighton but admits to feeling a mixture of pride and relief after his new side left it late to score the two goals that sealed all three points.
Gerrard went wild on the touchline when Ollie Watkins broke the deadlock after 84 minutes to put Villa in front. Then the former Rangers manager was jumping around his technical area exuberantly again two minutes from time when Tyrone Mings lashed in another goal to seal a 2-0 victory in front of a joyous Villa Park support.
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The Liverpool legend becomes the first Villa manager to win his inaugural Premier League game in charge of the Lions since John Gregory in February 1998. This subsequently puts a four-point gap between Villa and the dreaded relegation places.
Gerrard, who replaced Dean Smith at Villa Park on the back of the Birmingham based side losing six straight matches, said: “I was feeling a combination of things. It was a mixture of excitement, relief and pride. I cannot be any more proud of the players. This was a big week, a big game for the team on the back of losing five.
“Some people were only around for a couple of days in the week. Everything we have asked them to do, in the main, they have followed instruction and delivered a really good performance in the end. I couldn’t be more proud.”