Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has explained the stage in his career in which he began looking at the game from a managerial point of view and believes he learnt a lot from former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
The ex-Rangers boss is preparing to face the Northern Irishman when his side welcome Leicester to Villa Park later today.
“I learned a lot off Brendan,” the 41-year-old told Jamie Carragher (via Sky Sports).
“More off Brendan than the previous ones [managers], because of the age I was at, so under Houllier, for example, I wasn’t really a top student of the game.
“I wasn’t really that interested in the tactical side of it. Probably the early days under Rafa as well, it probably wasn’t until the back end of Rafa [Benitez] and Brendan where I started thinking about my own game intelligence.
“How I’ve got to adapt my game to do a job for the team and that’s when I probably started to take a little interest in the coaching side of it and the management side of it.
“But I believe if I’d have worked with Brendan earlier, I think we’d have had more success together for sure. I did rate him, I think he’s a top coach very slick the way he delivers it.
“I think he’s really good in his one to one stuff, how he manages dressing rooms and individuals, so if I didn’t take stuff off Brendan, if I didn’t learn from him, I’d be very stupid and naive.
“For me, I think he’s going to manage at the top level for a long time. I’ve learnt tonnes from Brendan, I won’t be afraid to admit I’ve stolen a few things off him as well.”
The reunion between the pair later today won’t be the first since they worked together at Anfield.
The former Liverpool No. 8 has come up against the 48-year-old previously in the fierce Old Firm rivalry between Rangers and Celtic.
Although Gerrard suffered his first defeat as Villa boss against Manchester City on Wednesday night, two wins from his first two games had lifted spirits amongst the Villans after a poor start to the season under Dean Smith.
Stevie may have admitted his admiration for our former boss and may owe a lot of his success to Rodgers, but he will be demanding a reaction and a big three points from his side today.