Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard ready for "uncomfortable" 90 minutes against Burnley

Steven Gerrard is prepared for an "uncomfortable" 90 minutes at Villa Park on Saturday.

Steven Gerrard at Turf Moor
Steven Gerrard at Turf Moor

The Liverpool legend was at Turf Moor for Sunday's goal-less draw against West Ham, and knows his players will have to be up for a battle against the Clarets.

Gerrard has picked up four wins and two defeats - those coming against champions Manchester City and his former club Liverpool - since taking over from Dean Smith, who was sacked after five-successive defeats.

And the former Rangers boss said, of Burnley: “They’re a very experienced team and they’ve been in the league for a long time with a very experienced coach.

"They play a certain way where they challenge you in many different ways.

“It’s a game that we need to remain fully focussed on and concentrated on.

"I went to watch Burnley against West Ham at the weekend and it’s very clear in terms of their style and what they want to do.

“They want to make the game extremely uncomfortable for you from start to finish.

"We have to make sure we’re ready for the challenge, the battle and the fight.

"Hopefully we can make the game look how we want it to look, in terms of the style of the game.

“We’re going to have to be at it, we’re going to have to play like men, in terms of standing up to the physical challenge.

"We have to be as strong as we can across the pitch, and we’re looking forward to that challenge.”

Villa could be without Ashley Young, who was close to joining Burnley in the summer, while Keinan Davis, Morgan Sanson and Anwar El Ghazi are out, joining Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore and Marvelous Nakamba on the list of unavailable players.

The game is, at present, the only 3 p.m. kick-off in the Premier League on Saturday, after a string of postponements due to COVID, and Villa have had cases of their own.

Gerrard spoke about the current COVID-19 situation: “If there’s a headline from this conference, I want it to be that player safety and welfare has to be taken into consideration here, because this is not just a COVID situation, this is what comes on the back of it.

“We’re having to use more players for more games and more minutes, because we’ve got some players missing with COVID.

"That puts more strain and stress on the players individually and you pick up more injuries on the back of that.

“We’re at the time of year where, naturally, there are more colds and bugs, and there’s that paranoia that while they maybe haven’t had a positive test yet, are they going to have a positive test in a few days. Do you then take them out of the environment to protect others?

“There’s all kinds of concerns and situations going on at the moment. I just hope the Premier League and the powers that be take player welfare into consideration.”