Downing happy with Houllier appointment

Downing happy with Houllier appointment

Stewart Downing is backing Gerard Houllier to be a success at Aston Villa given his proven track record and the players who will be at his disposal.

Houllier will not be in charge for tonight’s Barclays Premier League clash at Stoke as he ties up the loose ends with the French Football Federation after resigning as their technical director.

Caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald will select the side for a sixth successive match before Houllier takes control during the next couple of weeks.

Downing said: “I saw his (Houllier’s) press conference on TV when it got announced that he was the new manager and he came across very well.

“If you look at his past record as a manager, with what he did at Liverpool and at Lyon, he’s obviously got a good record and you don’t get jobs like that if you’re not very good.

“There’s no reason that I can think of why he can’t do very well at Aston Villa.

“He’s got a good squad of players to work with. It’s a great club, great facilities so everything’s in place for him to do very well.

“I’m sure he’s excited to come and work with the squad because, if he looks at it, he’s got some very good players on his hands here.”

Downing will be out to impress Houllier but knows players who did not feature regularly under Martin O’Neill will also be keen to make their mark.

He said: “Personally I see it as a challenge because every time a new manager comes in you’ve got to impress him.

“But all those lads who have not played can see it as a fresh start and the young lads coming through can see it as a chance to impress the manager.

“The main thing is we’ve got to play our best football and stay in the team and that doesn’t change really – no matter who is in charge.”

Downing believes Villa should go to Stoke full of confidence after showing plenty of resilience in overcoming Everton a fortnight ago.

He said: “That was a good confidence boost for us especially as it came straight after the Newcastle result (lost 6-0).

“We showed another side to our team. We’re not just a flair team. We had to do that. Everton are a good team and they enjoyed a lot of possession.

“We were desperate to get something out of the game and it ended up being a really good result for us.

“Stoke have signed some good players in the transfer window so the game may turn out to be a bit different.

“But we should have a bit of confidence now. If we can beat a good team like Everton, we’ll be going there to win the game.”

More in this Section

Neil Warnock leaves Cardiff by mutual consentNeil Warnock leaves Cardiff by mutual consent

'Why are we changing again?': Michael Murphy critical of GAA's rules tinkering'Why are we changing again?': Michael Murphy critical of GAA's rules tinkering

Banned coach Alberto Salazar appeals to CASBanned coach Alberto Salazar appeals to CAS

Daniel James enjoying challenges of life in the Premier League fast laneDaniel James enjoying challenges of life in the Premier League fast lane


Helen O’Callaghan on the dangers of products high in caffeine.The dangers of energy drinks full of sugar

When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.Wedding of the Week: 'It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life'

As you may be aware, new rules around motor insurance documentation have been introduced. The rules are aimed at improving transparency for consumers but a broker is warning they may have unintended consequences and could cause some confusion among policy holders.Drive a hard bargain for better car insurance

When Peter Ryan lost 90% of his vision in his early 20s, his readjustment was emotionally painful, but maturing, says Helen O’CallaghanA new way of seeing the world: Peter Ryan talks about losing 90% of his sight in his early 20s

More From The Irish Examiner