Search

17 Jan 2022

Steven Gerrard says Manchester United interim manager 'needs time to put stamp' on team

Steven Gerrard says Manchester United interim manager 'needs time to put stamp' on team

The former Liverpool captain makes his managerial bow in the FA Cup after twice winning it as a player at Anfield

Steven Gerrard insists Aston Villa are not under-estimating the size of their FA Cup task at Old Trafford, adding Ralf Rangnick needs time to put his stamp on Manchester United.

Interim United boss Rangnick has had a turbulent week after a first defeat of his reign to Wolves was followed by reports of dressing room disharmony, with as many as 17 players said to be unhappy.

But Villa boss Gerrard is taking no notice of the noise swirling around United, as the former Liverpool midfielder makes his FA Cup managerial bow against a familiar adversary.


Interim Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has had a difficult week at Old Trafford 

“I think everyone still respects the fact that Manchester United are a good team at Old Trafford,” Gerrard said ahead of Monday’s third-round tie.

“They are capable of beating anyone there if they have a good night. There certainly will be no disrespect of the opponent we’re going to face.

“When new managers take over they need time to put their identity and philosophy on it.

“If you analyse their results they haven’t been as bad as what people are suggesting.

“I’ve analysed it properly and I don’t get involved in some of the things that are said about opponents, managers or players.

“Everyone knows Manchester United deserve that respect in terms of what level they are operating at.”

Gerrard graced the FA Cup with distinction during his time as a player, winning the competition in 2001 and 2006.

As Liverpool captain in 2006, he produced one of the great FA Cup final performances against West Ham in Cardiff.


Steven Gerrard lifts the FA Cup as Liverpool captain in 2006 

Gerrard scored twice and his sensational stoppage-time equaliser from distance made it 3-3 before the Reds went on to win a penalty shoot-out.

He said: “In terms of history it means a lot because I’ve had a good level of success and some of the highlights of my career came in this competition.

“It’s a real tradition, a special competition for everyone who’s English and British because we know it very well.

“Even when foreigners come into the country and you’re having conversations with them, the FA Cup always comes up.

“It’s got a name for itself worldwide and I’m looking forward to competing in it from a managerial point of view.

“It’s a big welcome to the FA Cup getting Manchester United away in your first game – and there were certainly kinder draws out there. But we’ll go there and give it our best shot.”

Whereas Rangnick could rotate his squad, Gerrard has promised to field a strong line-up at Old Trafford.

Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to be involved following his loan move from Barcelona, but England pair Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings are available again and former United captain Ashley Young could feature after breaking his toe.


Philippe Coutinho must wait for his Aston Villa debut after joining on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season 

Gerrard said: “A good, positive cup run can breed confidence and belief, especially if you qualify through a round when you face Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“It will be sorted out on the night, be it extra time and penalties if needs be, so we need to be as ambitious and brave as we can.

“It’s not a case like it used to be where you could set up in a certain way, and maybe have the safety net in a certain period of the game to fall back on a replay.

“The dynamics have changed, but if we can give a really good account of ourselves then I’m hoping it’s going to be an interesting night.”

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.


Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.