Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard admitted that it was our ‘worst performance’ under him after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle Utd on Sunday.
Villa registered just one short on target at St James’ Park as the exciting and clinical side from midweek went missing, while we continued to struggle to control the game in and out of possession.
Ultimately, Kieran Trippier’s deflected free-kick in the first half was the difference between the two sides, but Villa have some decisions to make ahead of Watford at home next weekend, as after a performance like that, Gerrard will surely be considering chances to his line-up, both in terms of personnel and system.
Villa’s worst performance under his watch
As ever, the Villa boss spoke candidly after the game as he gave his assessment of the performance, and clearly he was bitterly disappointed with what he saw and will no doubt expect a reaction from his players both in training this week and importantly on the pitch next Saturday at Villa Park.
“Since I’ve been in the door, that’s our worst performance. We were way off our level by far,” he told the club’s official site. “We have to be careful that we don’t repeat that performance because we can be dragged down this league and dragged down pretty quickly.
“There needs to be a drastic improvement, individually and collectively, and we got what we deserved today.
“Everything [was missing]. Everything that we’ve worked really hard for, all the positives that we’ve shown, the steps forward that we’ve taken. We’ve certainly taken steps back today. It’s a frustrating day. I can’t think of many positives.
“I thought our two centre halves held us together and Phil (Coutinho) did everything he could to get us back in the game, but all in all, we were way off our level.
“I need to think hard and analyse this game more in closer detail. Everyone needs to be ready for next week and we need to react and put in a better performance.”
Gerrard hints at changes
Speaking to BirminghamLive, Gerrard also hinted that he will make changes next week and continued to express his frustration and disappointment with the display from his team.
“A really bad day for us. I was surprised with the performance that we gave. There were no signs of that, certainly in the preparation. Look, collectively we need to improve. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
“We didn’t deserve anything out of the game given the level of performance that we give. That’s clear to me and some changes in the team need to happen as well.
“On the evidence of that, we’re short in a lot of places. I think we slightly improved after the break and had a 10 to 15 minute period where we pushed but, in terms of what we created in the game today, that was a concern because I think we had one shot on target.
“The easy way out for me is to say things are going to take time. We want to see improvements now. There has been a lot of positives and excitement and good performances along the way so far. But, today, the frustrating thing is there were no signs of them steps in the right direction. We were poor in a lot of areas which is a concern.
“We’ve got to be careful that we don’t get dragged down. We’ve got to have a purpose for every single game. Today, when we started, the players didn’t show any urgency until half-time. We never showed what we’re about until half-time. We’ve got a lot of work to do in a short space of time. The players know they were nowhere near it today. The staff know it. Collectively, we all need to improve.
“We’ve come to the game too late! You can’t come to games in the Premier League after 45 minutes. You can’t be relying on one incident in the second half to say that you deserve something out of the game. We need to be creating more, be more dangerous. There’s not many people who can be proud of their performance today, probably two or three who I thought were close to the level that’s accepted. Even the subs coming to the game didn’t bring much. Our set plays didn’t look right. Across the board, we’ve got a lot to work on.”