Steven Gerrard discusses Aston Villa's appointment of former Blackpool boss Neil Critchley
Steven Gerrard has revealed he was “always prepared” for the day Michael Beale would leave Aston Villa.
It was Beale’s departure from Villa Park that paved the way for Neil Critchley to depart Bloomfield Road, as he did at the start of June, and become Gerrard’s new number two.
The vacancy arrived after Beale, who also worked with Gerrard at Rangers, opted to take the head coach’s job at QPR.
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“I have to respect Michael's decision to move onto a new challenge,” Gerrard told Villa TV.
“I always knew, working with Michael, that he was looking over the fence for an opportunity for himself. We were always open and honest.
“We lose a very good coach and a good person who's been good for me and good for my journey so far.
“The good thing is I've got good relationships in football and I've always known that if that day did come, I've always prepared myself for that moment.
“For us to react so quickly as a club, to get the support that I did to go and get Neil Critchley, was really important. I'm glad we've done that.”
Critchley has drawn criticism from Blackpool supporters for the manner of his exit, having yet to make a public statement.
The Gazette understands Critchley is keen to send a message to Blackpool supporters but is waiting on advice and permission from his new club before issuing a statement.
Critchley got to work with the Premier League outfit on Monday on their return to pre-season training ahead of the new season.
Critchley left Bloomfield Road on June 2.