Writer: Dan Jones
Date:Friday December 10 2010
Chief Executive Paul Faulkner have given his backing to manager Gerard Houllier.
Houllier's Villa suffered a fourth successive defeat at his former club Liverpool on Monday.
He then upset Villa fans by saying 'It's difficult to say but I prefer to lose 3-0 to Liverpool because I like Liverpool' on the Merseyside club's official site.
Now we find ourselves only two points above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's home clash with our local rivals West Brom.
But Faulkner claims Houllier has his and Randy Lerner's full support.
He said: 'From my point of view, and from Randy's, it's 'as you were'. It's not even a vote of confidence because nothing has changed for us.
We knew it was going to be hard and we are on a bad run. But the answer is to work even harder - and Gerard is doing that.
Of course, West Brom is a massive game, it's a local derby, but everyone who cares for Villa should stick together.'
He continued by saying 'Our stance has been, ever since Randy took charge of the club in 2006, to build for the long term. Continuity always pays off. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Gerard's great to work with.'
That is a slighty funny thing to say given that Houllier is 62 years old and Ferguson was in his 40's when he took charge at Old Trafford. It is not as though he is a long term appointment
Paul added 'It's only three league games ago when we were eighth and Sir Alex said we should have been 6-0 up against his team before drawing 2-2. Nothing has changed here. It's a long-term project. We always knew it was going to be difficult. The manager arrived in September and has been trying to make changes in the way things are done and make changes in the playing style.
Without wishing to make excuses, the injury list has been horrendous. Thankfully, players are starting to come back now. Fans should demand and expect total commitment from a manager and Gerard is fully focused on Aston Villa.
He is incredibly hard-working and doing everything he can to improve the team's fortunes.'
Faulkner believes Houllier's health problems and heart attack at Liverpool should be taken into consideration by Villans who might be upset that he still has an affection for his former club and to be fair I actually agree.
He said: 'I admit it didn't look great on Monday (at Liverpool) but I know that the reality is he's very focused on this job. I see that every day. But, in a way, his life was saved at Liverpool after he had a huge heart failure.
The actions of the people in that building as he stared death in the face must have had a major impact.'
Faulkner finished by discussing the January transfer window.
He said: 'We'll give him the support and the resources to do his job.
'But January has never been the ideal time to make extensive recruitment.
'If opportunities present themselves, then we will look to improve the squad.'
Date:Friday December 10 2010
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