Houllier eyes upturn in fortunes

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Gerard Houllier expects Aston Villa's fortunes to change for the better by mid-January and insists he has the full backing of owner Randy Lerner.

Houllier came under fire from some sections of supporters after Tuesday's inept showing in a 4-0 defeat at Manchester City. The Frenchman believes the Villa players have been "affected mentally" by the club's current plight with them hovering only just above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

Houllier said: "When you don't get results the supporters always look at you. The players win games and managers lose games! The results have not been going our way. We have to stick together and push on I was watching Mark Hughes at Fulham. He said that practically a week ago everyone was on to him - and then one win away (at Stoke) changed things."

He added: "With Mick McCarthy at Wolves it was probably the same thing - then he wins at Liverpool.

"I think some players are very affected by what's going on, mentally. But I'm glad to say some of the experienced guys are coming back.

"With some experienced players, who've been out for some time coming back, we'll be a better team. Maybe after mid-January, it will be a different scenario."

When asked if he retains the backing of Lerner, Houllier said: "Definitely. If the chairman trusts you, that trust goes also to the players and we're in this together.

"The chairman, chief executive, the people at the club, the fans, everyone is suffering, probably to a level we did not expect.

"But there is no panic and we will keep working and I'm confident at some stage we will get there.

"If we keep working to do a good job, at some juncture we will turn things around."

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Stoke City
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Mark Hughes
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