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Steven Gerrard confident Aston Villa will not be dragged into relegation fight

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard welcomes Norwich on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard welcomes Norwich on Saturday (Mike Egerton/PA)

Boss Steven Gerrard dismissed any fears of Aston Villa being dragged into a shock relegation scrap.

They host rock-bottom Norwich on Saturday eight points clear of the bottom three with six games left.

Villa are 15th in the Premier League and also play Burnley, just six points behind them, twice in their final run-in.

They have lost four of their last five and won just four of their last 15 top-flight outings but Gerrard remains confident they will avoid any late issues.

He said: “I only look forward and I only look up. Tomorrow poses a strong opportunity for us to put in a strong home win. I’m sure the table will look completely different come the final whistle tomorrow, if we put in the performance which deserves that.

“I’m concerned about Villa every minute of every day and I’ll continue to be concerned and focused for every minute moving forward.”

Kortney Hause and Morgan Sanson remain out for Gerrard but Bertrand Traore is available after missing last week’s 0-0 draw at Leicester with a groin problem.

Norwich arrive knowing if they lose and Burnley win their crunch game at Watford they will be relegated back to the Championship.

The Canaries have lost nine of their last 11 games and are 10 points from safety with five games left.

Boss Dean Smith was sacked by Villa, and replaced by Gerrard, in November and faces the prospect of going down at his former club but his replacement says he will be given respect.

Gerrard added: “We’re very aware before and after the game there will be some emotion around. That’s deserved from Dean’s point of view, he did a fantastic job, he brought them up from the Championship to the Premier League. The respect for Dean before and after the game will be there.

“The important thing is when the game starts, the fans, players, myself are pushing for a real positive result.”

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