‘I’m sure he’ll be proud’: Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard reveals lifelong fan Prince William took time out from mourning the Queen’s death to send a message of support to his failing team ahead of win over Southampton
- The Prince of Wales sent Aston Villa a message of support this week
- Jacob Ramsey’s first-half winner sealed a gritty 1-0 win on Friday night
- Villa climbed to 13th after a second league win – and first clean sheet since April
The Prince of Wales still sent Aston Villa a message of support as he mourns the Queen’s death, boss Steven Gerrard has revealed.
Jacob Ramsey’s first-half winner sealed a gritty 1-0 win over Southampton on Friday after Villa Park hailed the Queen.
Villa climbed to 13th after a second win of the season – and first clean sheet since April – on a night that started with a minute’s silence and the national anthem.
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard thanked the Prince of Wales for his message of support
William, a lifelong Villa fan, remains in London ahead of his grandmother’s state funeral on Monday, but still offered his support for Gerrard and his squad.
Gerrard said: “He sent a message this week to the club and it shows everything about what he thinks of this club. For us to reward that with a result and clean sheet, I’m sure he’ll be proud.
“It was along the lines of ‘would love to be there.’ He is consistently in touch. He is very supportive of the boys individually, he loves them. It’s really impressive, his knowledge and how much he cares about it.
“It certainly took me back. He is very involved in Villa. For him to give notice in the situation he is in is truly impressive.
Aston Villa beat Southampton 1-0 in their Premier League clash at Villa Park on Friday night
‘Where we were before the game, considering our league position, it was about the result. It wasn’t pretty or stylish, but about resilience, courage, character and owning the pitch.’
There was no spark from either side for 34 minutes of a miserable game before Philippe Coutinho fired over.
At least it roused Villa with Coutinho and John McGinn – who admitted he would have turned the game off if he was watching on TV – trying to force the issue.
The urgency worked and the hosts cashed in when they were on top four minutes before the break.
Aston Villa’s only goal of the game came from Jacob Ramsey in the 41st minute (above)
Coutinho’s header at the far post was saved by Gavin Bazunu, but from the corner it was worked short for the Brazilian to cross for Ollie Watkins.
His header was turned onto the post by Bazunu, with the ball looping, and Mohammed Salisu could only nod it for Ramsey to blast home.
It was as good as it got in a game that was desperately low in quality. Leon Bailey drilled wide and Douglas Luiz tried his luck from a corner before half-time, but the second half left much to be desired.
Stuart Armstrong glanced wide in stoppage time – the best a flimsy Southampton could manage as they slumped to a third defeat in four games.
Gerrard was delighted as this game marked their first clean sheet in 12 attempts
“We’ve seen better games in the Premier League this season,” Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said. They had one thing, to score, and we didn’t have one.
It was a long way from Premier League level, from both sides. We haven’t been good enough on the ball to create anything serious.
– It was similar to the Wolves game (a 1-0 loss), but we had no chances. It was hard to say what it was, after the first two or three duels we were a bit anxious.
“For some players they have to adapt to this level and this will take time. This is not surprising. Of both teams, we were the worst.
The Prince of Wales (centre) sent Aston Villa a message of support this week