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Aston Villa boss Gerrard confident 'Phil will be fine': I don't have to defend him

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is confident of Philippe Coutinho returning to his best form.

The former Liverpool star, on-loan from Barcelona, has registered four goals and three assists in 13 games since arriving at Villa Park in January, but his form has dipped in recent weeks.

Coutinho would cost about £30million and would be comfortably Villa's top earner — a significant financial outlay for a player who turns 30 on June 12.

"Phil will be fine," said Gerrard. "We can't expect Phil to be man of the match, creator and goalscorer every time he plays. We'll continue to work with him and I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time.

"I don't have to defend Philippe Coutinho. He defends himself with the level that he's at. We're playing against two teams now (Norwich and Burnley) where we should be able to create chances.

"So with players like Emiliano Buendia, Phil, Leon Bailey, Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, we've got enough in the building to get some positive results."


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