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Steven Gerrard warns Aston Villa players are fighting for their futures

Wolves moved 13 points clear of local rivals Aston Villa.

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Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa suffered defeat at Wolves (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa suffered defeat at Wolves (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa suffered defeat at Wolves (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard warned his side they are fighting for their futures after a 2-1 Premier League defeat at Wolves.

Jonny’s early strike and Ashley Young’s own goal sent Wolves seventh in their bid to return to Europe.

Ollie Watkins’ late penalty was not enough and defeat left Villa 10th, 13 points behind Wolves with a third-straight defeat leaving their season drifting with eight games left.

Gerrard accused his side of failing to turn up at Molineux but vowed it was a problem he would solve, with or without his current squad.

“We have only got ourselves to blame. At the moment we’re looking like a 45-minute team and that’s on me,” he said.

“I’ve got to fix it and I will fix it. The players in the building have to help me fix it now, if not we will get players in who will help me fix it.

“It was a game we never turned up for, we are playing against Wolves, a local rival, but you can’t come to derbies at half time. We have gifted Wolves two goals.

“At half-time we put ourselves in a really difficult position. Everything I asked of the players at half-time onwards they gave me, but when you are up against teams at this level, you can’t give them a two-goal start.”

Wolves, without the banned Raul Jimenez and injured Ruben Neves, made light of their missing stars to dominate the first half.

Their seventh-minute opener owed much to Villa’s misfortune but it was just rewards for the hosts.

Both John McGinn and Ezri Konsa slipped to first allow Joao Moutinho and then Daniel Podence to take advantage.

A covering McGinn blocked Podence’s shot and Lucas Digne denied Fabio Silva only for the ball to run to Jonny to fire into the top corner.

Silva and Podence went close before Wolves took their foot off the gas and allowed Villa an opening when Jose Sa thwarted Leon Bailey from distance.

But just as it looked like the visitors were wrestling some control, however briefly, Wolves grabbed a second goal, nine minutes before the break when Young headed Marcal’s cross into his own net.

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Leander Dendoncker went close but Watkins should have pulled a goal back after the break, rather than shooting wide with just Sa to beat.

Philippe Coutinho forced Sa into a save and Silva saw Emi Martinez turn his drive over before Villa earned a controversial lifeline with four minutes left.

Sa and Watkins collided in the area and referee Darren England gave the penalty which the England striker knocked in off the post.

There was still time for Sa to deny from Matty Cash in injury time but Wolves deservedly held on.

Boss Bruno Lage said: “It’s the same feeling we had against Leeds (a 3-2 defeat after being 2-0 up). That’s why 2-0 is so dangerous, especially in this competition.

“I’m happy because we won, we played the way we wanted to play, the gameplan was perfect.

“We need that mentality to kill the game, score the third goal and not to give hope to the opponent.

“When you go into the last seven games, everyone is counting points.

“It’s going to be hard. When you are in the first half of the season, you have time and points in front of you to reach your goals. From now on we have 21 points to win.”

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