Steven Gerrard calls out Aston Villa stars who need to ignite the team

‘I need these players to step up and be headline writers for us’: Steven Gerrard highlights four Aston Villa stars who need to ignite the dressing room… after his side failed to challenge Nottingham Forest in draw

  • Steven Gerrard was frustrated with his side’s lack of chances during 1-1 draw 
  • The manager called upon four players to step up and ignite Aston Villa’s squad 
  • Philippe Coutinho, Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and injured Leon Bailey were named
  • Ashley Young’s equaliser over Nottingham Forest extended Villa’s unbeaten run 

Steven Gerrard has hit out at his attacking players for not delivering the goods in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Ashley Young’s spectacular strike brought Gerrard’s men level after Emmanuel Dennis’ first-half header, but Villa did not do enough to challenge Forest in the later stages.

The result puts Gerrard under more pressure, and he has put the onus on his players, highlighting a quartet of stars who needed to be making positive stories for Villa on the pitch.

Steven Gerrard said key figures in his dressing room needed to step up to improve Aston Villa

Philippe Coutinho, Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and the injured Leon Bailey were the four stars that 42-year-old Gerrard wants to do more in the Villa camp to get results.

After the match, Gerrard told Sky Sports: ‘I don’t think we have created enough or enough clear-cut chances to say we deserved to win, but it’s a certainly a game we came here expecting to win.

‘I wanted to create more chances, outside of two or three decent opportunities, we need to create more and need more quality in the forward positions and final third. If we did, we would have got three points, but we never got that.

‘I don’t think there was much wrong up to a certain point but I seem to be saying that too much of late. All week we have spoken to the players on getting more bodies into the box. We tried to change our system to be more bold, we finished with a bold team to find magic in the final third, but it wasn’t there today.

Philippe Coutinho was one of those players who Gerrard called upon to be ‘headline writers’

‘The important thing is how I can get this team to be more potent, find that quality, and we challenge our forwards to give this team more threat. Application and a lot of our performances are ok up to a certain point.

‘You look around our changing room and see Coutinho, Buendia, Ings, Bailey will be back quick, I need these players to step up and be headline writers for us.’

Gerrard also told reporters that he was prepared to make changes before his side’s match with Chelsea this weekend.

While the draw with Forest extended Villa’s unbeaten run, it was not something for Gerrard to celebrate after the match.

While Aston Villa are on a four-match unbeaten streak, it was not a celebration for Gerrard

‘I don’t want to sit here and talk about four games unbeaten, because it’s not enough, the last two performances we need to be taking maximum points,’ Gerrard said.

‘There is a lot of frustration there. I have challenged the forward players to give us more in that area of the pitch.

‘We just need more quality from some of our big hitters. When we get that and when they step forward with more for us I am sure we can turn these draws into wins. Tonight was a incredible opportunity for us to really jump up the league and we haven’t grabbed it.’

Meanwhile, Forest snapped their five-game losing streak with the draw, and climbed off the foot of the Premier League table in the first match since boss Steve Cooper extended his contract.

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