Hou's Being Honest - The Verdict
A desperately disappointed Gerard Houllier has admitted Villa are in a relegation battle but has vowed that his New Year's Resolution is to get us back on track.
Speaking on the Official Site following our abject 4-0 loss to the Billionaires Houllier didn't exactly look for excuses although he did rightly point out that even though our mental injury situation is righting itself, some of the players aren't match fit or sharp yet and it will take a little bit of time.
'We have to bring the confidence back to the team, but you have to take into account that some players were playing their first games for almost three months. We have to get them back to normal match fitness.'
Of course that opens up the question of why players are being pushed back so quickly, and yes you could say for their experience and to give the young lads a break but it's just as easy to then show from today that Reo and Petrov were absolutely no improvement on Hogg or Clark, many would say our midfield was weaker infact.
The biggest question of the day though, as often skirted around previously, is the question of a relegation battle as addressed yesterday by Marc Albrighton.
Now to be honest given how close the table still is I'm not panicking as there is plenty of time for us to turn this around, but plenty are getting worried and it's impossible to not see where they are coming from.
When asked the question, Houllier said:
'We are definitely. We were before the game and we knew we would have a difficult run of games over Christmas. We are very near so we're in that fight. We need to turn the corner.'
The problem we have is just yet games, at least on paper, don't get any easier. We have Chelsea up next and to be honest most of us are probably looking forward to that one even less than the battering we expected to take today.
So I'm going to ignore the brief Chelsea comments and the Chelsea game until I absolutely have to address it.
For the game today, Houllier concedes we were well beaten and even with my tinted specs on considering the first penalty was softer than warm ice cream, the second goal didn't cross the line and the third was offside, I can't really argue we were cheated because we didn't deserve anything from the game.
Not much else to say really is there.
Oh and for those asking about John Carew, in the after match interview Houllier's quoted by Sky as saying:
'John would have been in the squad but he came to me and told me he was not fit enough. We gave the players two days off after the Wigan game, he went to Norway and got stuck. I have to accept the explanation, there was snow everywhere.'
So there you go he missed a couple of days training and couldn't play. Quite how getting stuck in snow would affect your fitness in itself though I don't know, because surely missing a few days training with home gyms and so on, would mean he was actually fresher than everybody else.
Probably best to accept the explanation isn't it.
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