Steven Gerrard had to remind his Al-Ettifaq players that the journey is still long even as they celebrated securing their second consecutive victory.
The former Liverpool midfielder, who took on the role of head coach for the Saudi Pro League team in July, has kicked off his time in Saudi Arabia’s premier division without a loss.
Following a narrow triumph over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in their initial season match, they continued their positive momentum by comfortably triumphing 2-0 over Al-Hazm on Friday.
Goals from Robin Quaison and Victor Vinicius Santos propelled Gerrard’s squad to second place in the league standings, trailing the frontrunners Al-Ahli.
Upon the final whistle, the Al-Ettifaq team marked their second consecutive victory with enthusiastic celebrations in the dressing room.
Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq team celebrating after they started the Saudi Pro League with two wins in two…
Gerrard 🗣️ “It’s only two games”
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 19, 2023
In fact, as you can see from the footage above, Gerrard held up two fingers and said, “It’s only two games!” as he walked into the dressing room area.
Still, they continued to chant and bang a table as the former Liverpool midfielder raised a wry smile before clapping his hands and dancing on the spot.
Gerrard has been joined by Jordan Henderson at the Saudi club, and earlier this month, the England international explained why he decided to join Al-Ettifaq after a 12-year spell at Anfield.
“Stevie was a big reason obviously why I came. To work with him and play under him,” he said, before being asked about his chances of playing for England in the future.
“I’m focused on playing for Ettifaq and playing my best. If I’m doing that then there’s no reason why I can’t play for England, as the gaffer said,” the midfielder continued.
“Obviously we spoke over the last few weeks about it because playing for England means a lot to me and I feel as though I can still bring a lot to the team as I have in the last few games in the World Cup.
“So I still feel as though I can bring a lot. But at the same time I’ve got to do my job here and if I can do that then hopefully I can make the team as normal.”
— BeanymanSports (@BeanymanSports) August 8, 2023
Henderson missed Friday’s win over Al-Hazm but is expected to return for their next Saudi Pro League game against Al-Khaleej.
Thoughts on Gerrard’s start to life in Saudi Arabia?
Let us know in the comments.