Has the Villa Park boss just been given the dreaded vote of confidence?
Bet on Aston Villa with Sportingbet.com and get a free bet worth up to £50
Aston Villa Tickets Available from Telegraph Tickets
Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier will be given time to turn around the fortunes of the struggling Premier League club, BBC Sport understands.
Villa slipped into the bottom three for the first time since 2002 after losing 1-0 at home to Sunderland on Wednesday.
Since Houllier took over in September the club has won three of their 16 top-flight fixtures and lost six of their last eight Premier League matches.
But a senior Villa source said the club remained “totally behind” Houllier.
No timeframe has been set on how long the 63-year-old Frenchman has to turn around the fortunes of the Midlands club.
Houllier himself conceded after the defeat by Sunderland that Villa are now battling for survival.
“We are in a relegation fight now,” he stated. “We’re going through a difficult period but we’ll make it.”
Houllier also insisted he retained the backing of club owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner.
The former Liverpool boss added: “I spoke to Paul Faulkner and he was very supportive. I don’t doubt Randy Lerner’s firm support and determination. We are in this together, for better or worse.” (BBC Sport)
So has Gerard Houllier actually been backed by the Aston Villa board or is this merely the dreaded vote of confidence? The Frenchman is a wily customer who has cleverly made a point of saying the club will successfully avoid relegation as though that was what was expected of him. He seems to forget that he took the reins of a club who have finished sixth the last three years in succession and also add to the mix the fact that the club was doing okay with caretaker manager Kevin McDonald before the former Liverpool and Lyon boss arrived.
For the record the Villa Park side has managed just three Premier League wins out of 16 matches under Houllier and that is most definitely relegation form.
Do Villa fans want to see the axe wielded and for Mr. Houllier to have his head cut off, not literally of course.
Fancy a flutter? Join Sportingbet and get a free bet worth up to £50! There are countless markets to bet on including which team will win, the first goalscorer, the correct score or even the time of the last goal. You can also try your hand at an accumulator and try to win big from a small stake. So visit Sportingbet.com and register now to put your money where your mouth is.