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Monday, 15 October, 2001, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Evans tips Dalglish return
Phil Thompson leaves hospital with Houllier's wife, Isabel
Phil Thompson leaves hospital with Isabel Houllier
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier remains in a "stable" condition after emergency heart surgery - as former boss Roy Evans tipped Kenny Dalglish as a potential Anfield stop gap.

Houller is likely to remain in intensive care for several days after undergoing 11 hours of emergency open heart surgery.

And Liverpool have already put assistant manager Phil Thompson in charge with Houllier possibly out of action for months.

Evans, now at Swindon, claimed former Anfield manager Dalglish could possibly step in to steer Liverpool through the period without Houllier.

Dalglish, who ironically quit Anfield suffering from stress in 1991, is currently out of football.

Gerard Houllier
Houllier could be sidelined for some time

Evans said: "It is important that Liverpool keep it going.

"The club will know what they need to do - they will make sure Liverpool are cared for in the right way.

"There are a number of people who can do the job for them. Kenny Dalglish is not doing anything - whether he would like to go back I don't know.

"They may just get Phil Thompson to run the show."

Houllier was rushed to the Royal Liverpool hospital after complaining of chest pains during half-time of his side's game against Leeds on Saturday.

Tests carried out at the Royal Liverpool and at the cardiothoracic unit at Broadgreen showed that Houllier had not had a heart attack.

But doctors examining the 54-year-old discovered a problem known as dissection of the aorta, which required surgery.

The operation at the largest specialist heart and chest unit in the country was carried out by two of the hospital's leading surgeons and cardiac consultants.

There are a number of people who can do the job for them - Obviously Kenny Dalglish is not doing anything
Former Liverpool boss Roy Evans

Houllier was expected to remain unconscious throughout Sunday.

His family are at his bedside while his close friend and Leeds boss David O'Leary has been one of his visitors.

He said: "I have been with Gerard's family. He has had 11 hours of surgery all through the night and lots of surgeons have done a fantastic job.

"He is in intensive care and we hope he will get better. He has just been with his family and hopefully he will be fine.

"None of us have really had any sleep. He has come through the operation now and the signs are looking good.

"She (Houllier's wife Isabel) is fine. She is worried but all the family are here, including his brother, Serge, from Corsica, who means a great deal to him.

O'Leary added: "He is a good friend. I wanted to kick his butt [when Leeds played Liverpool on Saturday] but not in this way. He is a nice man."

A statement from Liverpool Football Club read: "As part of the standard procedure, Gerard will be on a ventilator for the next 24 hours and will continue to receive the best possible attention from the staff at the Broadgreen cardiothoracic unit."

Thompson, who visited Houllier on Saturday, will take charge of the team for the Champions League match away to Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.

This has put football into perspective
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry

He added: "Gerard's illness will cause a problem but Liverpool have the experience. The chairman and Rick Parry will know what to do."

"I can't see it being a quick return for Gerard. I would hate to see him come back to work too quickly although I wish him a speedy recovery.

"When you have had major surgery it takes longer rather than shorter."

Liverpool's chief executive Parry revealed Houllier would be away from football for "weeks rather than days".

But he said it was premature to speculate whether he would be fit enough to return to management.

"A return to football is the furthest thing from our mind at the moment," said Parry speaking on BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"A lot of players have been expressing their concern. This has put football into perspective."

The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
"This was very serious heart surgery"
BBC Sport's Tony Gubba
"The players weren't told what had happened"
Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson
"The doctors checked him over in the treatment room"
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry
"Gerard Houllier is going to be on a ventilator for 24 hours"
See also:

13 Oct 01 |  Liverpool
Gerard Houllier profile
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