Ex-Rangers manager Steven Gerrard reveals main reasons behind Ibrox departure and his aims for Aston Villa

The Liverpool legend addressed the media for the first time since his unveiling last week

Steven Gerrard admits he left Rangers with a “heavy heart” after sealing a return to the Premier League with Aston Villa.

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Gerrard claimed he had “completed the remit” that was assigned to him by the Ibrox board upon his appointment in June 2018 after steering his side to a unbeaten 55th Premiership title, ending Celtic’s domestic stranglehold on Scottish football.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the Scottish Premiership at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow in May.

Speaking in his first Aston Villa media conference this afternoon, the 41-year-old outlined the two main reasons behind his decision to leave Rangers for the Premier League strugglers.

While his feet remain firmly grounded, Gerrard has revealed what his aims are for the future at Villa Park.

He said: “I think first and foremost it is an extremely proud moment for myself from a personal point of view. It is a real honour to be the Head Coach and manager of this football club.

“Although the last seven to ten days have gone extremely quick it has been a real happy time for me because the opportunity to be back in the Premier League, the opportunity to be back closer to my family were the two main reasons why this was the right move for me.

“It was a difficult decision (to leave Rangers). I certainly left with a heavy heart. I built up some fantastic relationships at Rangers. It is a club that I have got immense respect for.

“I was given a remit three-and-a-half years ago up at Rangers and we went on that journey. We completed that remit.

“Approximately ten days ago, the opportunity came up to join another iconic club and I think it is important to make sure that this press conference is about Aston Villa. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t let pass me by.

“I think success in football is always about winning football matches. Long term, the club would like to be back on a European level. I don’t think it is the right time now to put any specific date on that.

“For me, more importantly, it is about focusing on the short term, which is Brighton at the weekend. We need to start winning football matches again and moving up the table, so that is the short term goal.”