Belfast Telegraph

Villa still committed to Houllier

Gerard Houllier has again been assured about his future as Aston Villa manager despite fans repeating their calls for him to be sacked.

Houllier came under fire from Villa supporters during and after the 1-0 home Barclays Premier League reversal against Wolves on Saturday. But Villa officials are adamant that Houllier will remain in charge and are confident the midlands club will survive in the top flight.

A senior Villa source said: "Saturday was a bitterly disappointing day but nothing has changed. We remain committted to the same long-term strategy. It's important we show unity from the boardroom to the management, from the terraces to the players."

The source stressed there would be no panic measures if Villa were in a similar position as the reaches its climax.

When asked if Houllier will stay to the end of the season and beyond, the source added: "Of course. I don't see why people would react so extremely and expect differently.

"I haven't seen anything in Gerard's body language that suggests he is losing faith. We have eight games to go and we have more than enough to believe we will stay up. We know we're in a battle and we're going to have to scrap, but we're in this scrap together.

"I can't see how changing things with four games to go would have any positive impact on how the team plays anyway."

There was a similar scenario two months ago after a home defeat by Sunderland which saw Villa drop into the bottom three. But Houllier survived that onslaught, signed Darren Bent for a club-record fee of £24million, and remains confident now he can steer Villa away from the threat of relegation.

"We need 10 points (to be safe) and we will get them. I am confident about that," said Houllier.

"We are all worried. The players are worried. We have quality players and I think we will do it (ensure safety). I am convinced we have everything it takes."

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