Aston Villa manager Gerrard delighted after victory over Southampton: It wasn't pretty

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard said his side’s scrappy win over Southampton at Villa Park was a “big victory”.

Villa secured only their second Premier League win of the season as Jacob Ramsey scored the only goal of the game, and Gerrard said his side reacted to the criticism they had faced.

“It wasn’t pretty or stylish but, with where we were in the league, we knew we had to do it in a pragmatic way,” said Gerrard.

“I’m really proud of the boys’ effort, application and commitment. We played better than we did last time. In football, you have to grind and fight and be committed and we worked hard today.

“We will get better in terms of style and possession and that will come but tonight was about the points.”

Gerrard’s side have made an indifferent start to the campaign but they were able to build on the battling draw against Manchester City with a deserved victory.

He added: “We had to back up our performance against Manchester City and there were a lot of eyes on us from the TV but we did it.

“Maybe we tried to force it a bit tonight but as we move up the table, maybe that’s when the pretty stuff will come. It has been a tough period but I’ve wanted to step forward and protect my players.

“I’ve tried to fight and move up this table. We have accepted a lot of criticism and it’s about reacting and that is what we have done tonight.”