Football

Ex-Villa boss backs Houllier to succeed

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Gerard Houllier has been backed to be a success at Aston Villa - by the club's only other foreign manager.

Jozef Venglos had an ill-fated spell in charge of Villa two decades ago as Graham Taylor's successor in which they only just survived relegation from the old First Division, but the Czech coach knows Houllier well and is confident the former Liverpool boss - expected to be unveiled in the next few days - will fit the bill at Villa.

Venglos said: "I am sure that Aston Villa and Gerard Houllier are right for each other. It is a very good, well-run football club and Gerard is an excellent, experienced coach so they will work well together."

He added: "He has very good contacts and I know him well through my involvement with UEFA and FIFA.

"I have met him many times and I respect him very much. He has shown his qualities in different countries. I think he will do a good job."

Villa had been expecting to unveil Houllier on Monday as Martin O'Neill's successor.

Any slight hold-up is while the two sides fine tune the details of Houllier's role.

But Houllier will join Villa as manager rather than in a director of football type position.

Villa would like caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald to stay involved in the first team set-up in a coaching role.

But the former Liverpool player will have the final say on whether he wants this sort of involvement or would prefer instead to return to being in charge of the reserve team.

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Football
Premier League
Aston Villa

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