By Alex McLeish

28th Nov, 2021 | 10:00am

Gerrard will 'demand' this change from Aston Villa stars after what I've seen - McLeish

Steven Gerrard will “demand” his Aston Villa side dominates possession just like Rangers did under his stewardship.

That is according to former Scotland manager Alex McLeish, who was speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 41-year-old’s first matches in charge at Villa.

Aston Villa enjoyed just 37 per cent of the ball against Brighton at home in Gerrard’s managerial debut.

They had even less possession (36%) in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Those figures are a far cry from the Englishman’s tenure at Rangers, where he managed an average 64% possession in the Scottish Premiership this season (Transfermarkt).

“I’ve been watching Gerrard’s first games,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

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“They have got some players at a really high level at Villa, like Watkins – and Gerrard and Gary McAllister will be well aware of that fact. John McGinn is another.

“Even in a victory they will be looking for things to improve on – the analysts will be breaking it down and saying: ‘Why did we not keep the ball here?’.

“They will be breaking it down in training and making little tweaks here and there to ensure they can keep possession in future just as Brighton did during the game.

“With the finishing powers they have, they could become an even better team. The backroom staff will be working on that – you have to try and stay ahead of the game, even if you win.

“As a manager, you will never be satisfied 100%. Steven Gerrard will demand more possession, especially at home – and he’s got the players to do it.”

Aston Villa face tough Premier League clashes against Man City and Leicester in the next seven days.

The Midlands club sit 11th in the top flight.

In other news, Dean Smith sets sights on signing Aston Villa attacker – £4m will seal January deal.