Steven Gerrard unhappy with timing of international break after Aston Villa’s improved form

The Aston Villa boss discussed the timing of the recent international break in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

Steven Gerrard has expressed his displeasure with the timing of the recent international break after Aston Villa’s recent urn around in form.

The Villans haven’t played since their 1-0 win over Southampton on September 16 due to the break and were unable to continue their momentum as a result.

Gerrard will be hoping his team can make it three games unbeaten when they visit Elland Road to take on Leeds United on Sunday.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, the Villa boss said: “You’re obviously well aware of when the breaks are going to come. It is what it is, you’re not going to be able to change the schedule.

Aston Villa players celebrate after Leon Bailey’s equaliser against Manchester City in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park

“But, from a selfish point of view, we took four points from six against [Manchester] City and Southampton and we seemed to have turned a corner.

“Our form has improved in certain parts of our play.

“We would have liked to have carried on, we didn’t want the Leicester game cancelled either but, obviously, with the Queen passing, we totally respected that situation and it is what it is.

“We need to roll forward, we’ve got a lot of games from now until the World Cup, an opportunity for us to pick up more points and that’s the plan.”

The Villans have a good record against Leeds at Elland Road, beating them in their last two trips to the stadium.

Philippe Coutinho, Matty Cash and Calum Chambers were all on the scoresheet when Gerrard’s side beat the Whites 3-0 at Elland Road last season.

Despite the good form in West Yorkshire, the Villa boss expects a different test on Sunday to that of the last campaign.

“I think Leeds have improved from last season,” he said.

“Jesse [Marsch] came in and his back was against the wall to try and keep them in the league. He managed to do that.

“But he’s recruited well, used his pre-season really well, you can see they’re well-drilled, better organised.”

Coutinho joined Villa on a permanent transfer this summer. Credit: Getty/

Gerrard, who also made several changes to his squad in the summer, insists his side are good enough to ‘hurt’ Leeds.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re in a good place ourselves on the back of a couple of positive results and we want to go there with confidence and belief,” he continued.

“We want to go there and be really tough to beat and, as I say, we’ve got enough quality in our team to hurt Leeds at the right times as well.”