Houllier still to sign contract

Houllier still to sign contract

New Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has still to sign his three-year contract with the midlands club.

But the former Liverpool boss insists there is nothing to worry about and it is only a matter of time before he puts pen to paper.

Houllier finally takes charge of Villa for the first time in tonight’s Carling Cup clash with Blackburn after agreeing to become Martin O’Neill’s successor nearly two weeks ago.

When asked if he had signed the contract, Houllier said: “No, not yet but it is okay.

“The word is more important than the rest. You mean physically? No, but don’t be worried.

“This is not important – I think at Liverpool, I didn’t sign until November or December.”

Meanwhile, Houllier has insisted he has complete faith in Kevin MacDonald, who was caretaker boss for the opening seven games of the season.

MacDonald declined the opportunity to be part of Houllier’s first-team backroom staff and will revert to his role as reserve team coach.

Houllier said: “I understand why he didn’t want to be there. Let’s be honest, he was a bit disappointed because he was interviewed like the others.

“But I trusted him to be my number two and I trust him to be the reserve coach which, to me, is someone you work with all the time. He is part of my staff.”

The Frenchman wants Villa to emerge from their comfort zone and start winning trophies under his stewardship.

The Carling Cup brought Houllier his first trophy when manager of Liverpool in 2001, the Reds defeating Villa’s local rivals Birmingham in the final in Cardiff.

Houllier believes that success gave the Reds the confidence to enjoy a successful spell under him.

And the 63-year-old is aware just what ending a 14-year trophy drought would mean to the Villa supporters.

Houllier said: “Winning a trophy would be fantastic for the club and a huge reward for the fans. It will come.

“Maybe what the club needs is more ambition and to show its fighting teeth. Sometimes when you are a good club, everything is fine and the comfort is there.

“Maybe what we need is to get out of this comfort zone and get results a bit more.

“The passion is there but the ambition to win things would do well at this club.

“The image is a nice club. We want to be a winning club, and a nice winning club.”

Houllier continued: “Winning that first trophy with Liverpool was crucial. It took a lot of pressure off the team. It came as a relief. We had actually won something.

“Even Chelsea lifted their first league title after winning the League Cup.

“I remember speaking to Jose Mourinho and saying, ’Don’t neglect this cup because, if you win it, on the back of that, confidence grows’.

“That is exactly what happened. After that we practically won everything at Liverpool and we want to win something at Villa.”

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