‘I won’t get the welcome that I would like’ - Aston Villa’s Steven Gerrard ready for Old Trafford return

The former Liverpool midfielder is expecting a frosty reception when he brings his Aston Villa side to the Theatre of Dreams.

Steven Gerrard has said he is not expecting a welcome reception at Old Trafford on Monday when Aston Villa take on Manchester United.

The Red Devils were among Gerrard’s fiercest rivals during his Liverpool playing days, although the former captain insists he will not be fazed by a few boos from the home supporters.

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Villa travel to Manchester for the FA Cup third-round tie hoping to win at United for the second time in five months, but Gerrard is fully aware of the difficulty of achieving such a feat.

Gerrard will go to Old Trafford for the first time as a manager on Monday. Credit: Getty.

“Anfield and Old Trafford, these are places that history tells you are really tough places to go, to win games of football against top teams and top players,” he told reporters.

“But these are environments and teams you want to test yourself and compete against, I’m sure the players share those thoughts.

“I’m really looking forward to the game,” he added. “Yes, I won’t get the welcome that I would like, but that’s not important.

“I’ve had it before and I’m still here, I still survived that welcome. It will be a really interesting and fascinating game from a personal point of view but for me it’s more important about how the team performs rather than myself.”

Gerrard hoping for more memories

Gerrard had mixed experiences during his trips to Old Trafford as a player, losing more often than he won.

However, one encounter he enjoyed was a 4-1 away victory in 2009, when Gerrard famously kissed the camera after netting a penalty.

Gerrard’s famous camera-kissing celebration. Credit: Getty.

“It wasn’t planned,” the 41-year-old said when asked about the celebration. “That game of the magnitude of it, back in the day, was obviously a very well-watched game shall we say.

“My experiences against Manchester United had been very mixed as a player, a lot of highs, and a lot of lows, being on the end of different types of results.

“But emotions run high, with Manchester United there was a big rivalry. But that moment is gone, it’s parked up, it’s very much about Aston Villa now, and it’s about trying to create more memories.

"We have an opportunity on Monday night to go and get through to the next round, that’s the only focus for me really.

“I’m not really tapping into any other previous experiences because there is no need. I’m not going to gain anything from it.”

Gerrard’s record against United

As a player, Gerrard came up against the Red Devils on 35 occasions - he only faced Chelsea more during his career. From those meetings, Gerrard won 13, drew just twice and lost 20 times.

The ex-midfielder scored nine times and provided five assists, while getting sent off on two occasions. The last of those came in his final meeting against United when he was dismissed within a minute after coming on as half-time substitute, in 2015.

He also lost 4-0 at Old Trafford in 2003, and in 2010/11 was on the losing side after a Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick.

However, Gerrard was part of the side that beat United in the 2003 League Cup final, and he twice played as Liverpool eliminated the Red Devils from the FA Cup.