Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Houllier made to wait for Villa bow

SoccerNews in English Premier League, Ligue 1 10 Sep 2010

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Gerard Houllier was officially introduced as Aston Villa manager on Friday but the French coach does not expect to start working with the team for at least another week.

Although Houllier has agreed a three-year contract with Villa, his departure date from his role of technical director with the French Football Federation has yet to be confirmed.

That means the 63-year-old can’t attend Villa’s Premier League clash at Stoke on Monday – which had been expected to be his first game in charge of the club.

There is a possibility Houllier could return to Villa in time to pick the team for the home match with Bolton on September 18, but if not the former Liverpool and Lyon manager will be in control for the League Cup match against Blackburn on September 22.

For the moment Kevin MacDonald will remain in charge as caretaker boss.

“I take great pride in my appointment as manager of Aston Villa. It is a great honour for me,” Houllier said on Friday.

“Why am I here? One of the reasons is that I think Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner (club owners) have great enthusiasm, dynamism and honesty and they convinced me of their ambitions for the club.

“I had a good job with the FFF but I had a desire to return to English football – although it is not a case of unfinished business because I did well at Liverpool and won six trophies.”

Houllier confirmed that MacDonald will not be part of Villa’s first-team set-up but the former Liverpool midfielder, who had been keen on succeeding Martin O’Neill as full-time boss, will return to his role as reserve coach.

“I spoke to Kevin this morning and he prefers to go back to his role as reserve-team manager,” Houllier said.

“He has done a very good job and I trust him and I am sure our relationship will be good.”

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