Champions League: Houllier makes Euro trip with Liverpool

Gerard Houllier is to lead Liverpool into Europe this week.

Gerard Houllier is to lead Liverpool into Europe this week.

It will be the first time the Frenchman has accompanied the squad abroad since his heart problems last October.

It is also a further indication that his recuperation is almost complete following life-saving surgery after being taken ill during the home game against Leeds on October 13.

Houllier will host a media conference at the club's Melwood training ground on Monday before the party fly off to Germany.

They face Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in the Champions League quarter-final, holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, thanks to Sami Hyypia's goal.

Houllier joined assistant manager Phil Thompson in the dug-out at Anfield and gave both pre-match and post-match media briefings.

Liverpool came under fire for their tactics last week, not least of all from German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

Houllier is not concerned, however. "I have said to my players they must be doing something right because they are annoying people with their success," he told Liverpoolfc.tv.

"I hear people say we are boring. Last year we won three trophies and finished third in the league. We scored 127 goals in 63 games, which was third highest total in the history of the club.

"I hope we are as boring as that every year because it means the fans are happy and my players are happy.

"Other teams can keep the ball, I would rather keep the result. When Arsenal beat Leverkusen 4-1, Leverkusen had 64% of possession in the game.

"Against Juventus, Leverkusen had 54% of the ball and lost 4-0.

"When Manchester United beat Nantes 5-1, United had only 46% of the ball. I don't remember any of those sides being criticised.

"We have reached this far through sustained, repeatedly good performances. We have meticulous planning and preparation."

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