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Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 12:36 UK

Gerard Houllier still to sign Aston Villa deal

Gerard Houllier
Houllier is targeting Carling Cup success with Villa this season

Gerard Houllier has revealed he is yet to sign his three-year contract as manager of Aston Villa.

Houllier takes charge for the first time in Wednesday's Carling Cup clash with Blackburn after leaving his role at the French Football Federation.

The former Liverpool boss insists there is nothing untoward in the fact he has still to put pen to paper.

"This is not important," he said. "I think at Liverpool, I didn't sign until November or December."

Houllier agreed to become Martin O'Neill's successor at Villa Park almost two weeks ago but has been waiting for clearance from the French federation, where he was technical director.

He watched from the stands as Villa drew 1-1 with Bolton on Saturday.

When asked if he had signed his contract, Houllier said: "No, not yet but it is OK. The word is more important than the rest. You mean physically? No, but don't be worried."


Houllier also gave his backing to caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald, who is reverting to his role as reserve-team coach after turning down the chance to be part of Houllier's first-team staff.

Houllier said: "I understand why he didn't want to be there. Let's be honest, he was a bit disappointed because he was interviewed like the others.

"But I trusted him to be my number two and I trust him to be the reserve coach which, to me, is someone you work with all the time. He is part of my staff."

Meanwhile, Houllier has challenged Villa to bring an end to their 14-year trophy drought and has targeted the Carling Cup as their most likely route to silverware.

The 63-year-old won the competition with Liverpool in 2001, a victory which proved the springboard to triumphs in the FA Cup and Uefa Cup in the same season.

Houllier said: "Winning a trophy would be fantastic for the club and a huge reward for the fans. It will come.

"Maybe what the club needs is more ambition and to show its fighting teeth. Sometimes when you are a good club, everything is fine and the comfort is there.

"Maybe what we need is to get out of this comfort zone and get results a bit more.

"The passion is there but the ambition to win things would do well at this club. The image is a nice club. We want to be a winning club, and a nice winning club."

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see also
Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn
22 Sep 10 |  League Cup
Houllier on Villa learning curve
17 Sep 10 |  Aston Villa
Aston Villa 1-1 Bolton
18 Sep 10 |  Premier League
McAllister secures role at Villa
18 Sep 10 |  Aston Villa
Villa confirm Houllier start date
15 Sep 10 |  Aston Villa

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