Gerrard confident Aston Villa can start climbing table with window shut

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is confident they’re over their early season slump.

Last week, Villa recorded a 1-1 draw with Manchester City in what was by far their best performance of the season to date.

“I think we can certainly feel more settled,” Gerrard said. “While the window is still open and the season’s starting, there’s a lot of noise externally and internally about who’s going, who’s staying… it’s difficult to get into your rhythm, if you like, in terms of who’s going to be here and who’s not.

“Up until the last hours we could have been without Douglas Luiz but now he’s here things have changed but, with the window being shut, it gives you the chance to settle.

“You know who you’re going with from now until the World Cup and to the next window opening so, hopefully, now we can find our rhythm. We’re coming off the back of a positive performance and result and we want to go and back that up now.”

Gerrard spoke well of Belgian international Leander Dendoncker earlier, with the ex-Wolves man in line to make his debut tomorrow against Southampton.

“Leander’s pushing for a starting place in the team which should make the current midfielders aware of that,” Gerrard pointed out. “What I’ve seen so far from [Dendoncker and Bednarek] is that they’re pushing to play. They’re not here to make the numbers up. That’s what I want to see and I’ve been impressed with both.”