Houllier hopeful of Villa return

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Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is set to leave hospital by the end of the week following his latest heart scare.

The 63-year-old Villa boss will not return to management again this season, and will find out in a month's time if he will be able to continue in football.

Houllier is keen to continue his Villa Park tenure, and is said to have picked the team that drew at Stoke last weekend from his hospital bed.

His undeniable enthusiasm, and ambitions of a return to work was later followed up with texted instructions around various training routines.

Aston Villa club doctor Mark Waller, who will be tasked with making a decision on the manager's health remained positive.


"All the tests have confirmed his heart is working perfectly. We're extremely encouraged by Gerard's improvement in the past six days."

Speaking publicly from hospital for the first time, Houllier spoke of his appreciation for all the support he has received.

"I am extremely touched by all the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football. It has been overwhelming actually.

"I'm especially grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country."

He went on to express his gratitude towards the club and his Aston Villa players.

"I'm grateful to my players for their texts and messages and, of course, for their efforts in extending our recent unbeaten run against Stoke.

"I am also grateful to Gary McAllister and the rest of my staff, the team behind the team, for stepping in and taking the reins."

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