Steven Gerrard puts Villa plans ahead of a summer holiday

Steven Gerrard is not expecting much of a break this summer as he looks to turn Villa into a Premier League force.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

The boss admits there is “a lot of work to do” in reshaping his squad ready for what he hopes will be a sustained challenge in the division’s top half next season.

Villa remain in with a chance of achieving their highest finish for more than a decade with three matches of the current campaign remaining but a serious push for European football will be the remit next year.

A permanent deal for Philippe Coutinho was completed yesterday and Gerrard is also keen to recruit a holding midfielder and a central defender.

Asked whether he was looking forward to the summer, he replied: “To be honest I don’t think I will get much of a summer because there is a lot of work to do.

“There is a lot of shaping to do, a lot of one-to-one meetings to have with players and staff, a lot of travelling to do. You need certain things to fall into place.

“The priority is the games in front of us. But while those games are going on there is an awful lot of work at the club, a lot of meetings and talking.

“The idea is to start on the first day of pre-season in a better and stronger place, to press that reset button and go into the full season with a more competitive squad. Those conversations are well under way.”

Villa moved quickly to secure the loan capture of Coutinho in January and also competed the £25million signing of Lucas Digne in the first fortnight of the month.

Gerrard hopes the club can complete their business just as swiftly this time around but admits that isn’t always possible.

He added: “I think you saw in the last window we were ahead of the curve in terms of the work and conversations. I am pretty satisfied where we are, as of now, in terms of future planning.

“We have good people here who know how to do it. I am very much involved in that. I am happy with what is going on behind the scenes.

“It is challenging. Ideally you want everything to fall into place straight away but it doesn’t work like that. It is a process and you need some patience and luck along the way.

“The priority is our supporters and I can assure them we will do everything we can to improve this team.”

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