Soccer

Steven Gerrard understands fans’ frustration after Aston Villa lose at home

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Steven Gerrard insisted he understands the frustration of the Aston Villa supporters but vowed to turn around their form after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham.

Pablo Fornals struck the only goal in the 74th minute and a third Premier League loss of the season saw the hosts booed off at full-time.

Gerrard himself appeared to receive boos as he walked towards the tunnel and the 42-year-old acknowledged the disgruntlement of a fanbase who are eager to see Villa kick on in their fourth top-flight campaign since promotion.

“I have got two ears and I hear a lot of things. I heard the fans’ frustration and last time I checked my ears were still working so, yeah, I pick up on everything,” he said.

“I’ve been in the game long enough. If you lose three games out of four it is not the start the supporters wanted and certainly not the start that I wanted, so of course I understand.

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“We certainly share our supporters’ frustration and there is no one more frustrated than me.

“The only thing we can do now is act and try to put it right. I am all in to make that happen and my staff are but it has to come from within the players as well and the players have got to really stay together and find results now to move us up the table.”

A strong first half from Villa failed to present many clear-cut chances with a 14th-minute effort by Ezri Konsa ruled out after Lucas Digne’s corner kick had swung fractionally out of play.

Ollie Watkins was bright in a front two with Danny Ings but the visitors improved after the break, with West Ham boss David Moyes ditching a five-at-the-back tactic for his more favoured 4-2-3-1 formation with Said Benrahma introduced.

It boosted the visitors and eventually they broke the deadlock with 16 minutes left when Fornals’ 25-yard strike deflected off Konsa and looped over Emi Martinez in the Villa goal.

Gerrard added: “You can say it was cruel, a bit of bad luck but we’ve had 90 minutes ourselves to score. That is what was missing from our performance, that spark and imagination in the final third.

“We started with two attackers on the pitch and Phil (Coutinho) in behind. We did a lot of things right up to a certain part of the pitch but couldn’t find any openings.

“We’re frustrated at the moment and we haven’t put enough points on the board, certainly for the players we have got in the dressing room.

“Our return hasn’t been enough, I’m aware of that and in terms of moving forward we have got a choice. We either feel sorry for ourselves and it continues or we roll our sleeves up, stick together and try to put it right. I need to lead that and that is what I’ll try to do.”

Moyes was pleased to see West Ham end their own poor start to the league campaign with a first win of the top-flight season and felt they took another step towards their best form.

“The performance was really in truth not the most important thing today, the result was,” he said.

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“It was little bits in the second half that showed we were getting a little bit closer to ourselves at times. Not always but a little bit like it.

“From that point of view we know we have not cracked it yet but winning away from home in the Premier League this season or winning at home is hard because the competition level is really tough.”

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