Steven Gerrard sends message to Rangers fans after Aston Villa move

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Steven Gerrard insists Rangers will continue their success following his exit

Steven Gerrard insists Rangers will continue their success following his exit (Getty)

Steven Gerrard says he hopes Rangers fans can understand why he’s left the club halfway through the season in order to join Aston Villa.

The former Liverpool captain has spent over three years as Rangers manager and guided the club to their first league title in 10 years last season.

But after a strong start to the campaign, Gerrard has now opted to leave Rangers in order to become Aston Villa’s new manager after the Premier League side sacked Dean Smith on Sunday.

Rangers players and fans have been kept in the dark over Gerrard’s sudden departure, but the 41-year-old has now sent a message to supporters following his exit.

In a post on Instagram, Gerrard wrote: ‘I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers, especially the fans, for the love and support you’ve all shown me during my time in Scotland.

‘Winning “55” will always hold a special place in my heart – each and every one of you played a part in that and, believe me, there will be many more to come.

‘I hope in time you can understand and accept my decision to move on but I honestly fell in love with the club and will always follow the team .

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‘Once a Ranger, always a Ranger #55.’

Steven Gerrard replaces Dean Smith as Aston Villa manager

Steven Gerrard replaces Dean Smith as Aston Villa manager (Getty)

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate believes Gerrard has always shown ‘great drive’ and has backed him to be a success at Villa.

‘Steven’s always had fantastic leadership qualities,’ said Southgate.

‘I was probably a more senior player, I’d have been 30 when he first came into the England squad around Euro 2000, he was always a talent but he always had great drive.

‘We know the number of games he’s led for club and country where he’s made the difference in really important moments.

‘He’s had a fabulous start to his managerial career, he leaves one massive football club to join another.

‘I’m sure it’s a challenge that he’s looking forward to, it’s a great opportunity for him. A chance to test himself in a league where every week there’s a different sort of challenge, a high level challenge, and first thing to stabilise the club and it’s a fantastic football club.’

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