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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
Houllier's rallying cry
Gerard Houllier allows himself a smile during his first news conference for six months
Houllier was in fine form during his news conference
Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier confirmed his return to full-time duties by declaring his team could be "10 games from greatness."

Houllier faced a news conference for the first time in six months in the build-up to the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayer Leverkusen at Anfield.

He paid tribute to the "great work" carried out by assistant Phil Thompson during his recovery from major heart surgery.

But he then turned his attentions back to his team - and the 54-year-old insisted he now wants to carry on as long as Newcastle boss Bobby Robson, who is in his 70th year.

When you care as much as I do about the club you have to be involved and I don't play golf
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
Houllier said: "Hopefully we are ten games from greatness. We're still in contention to win the title and the Champions League. The vision is to win both.

"It is a matter of time and patience, but it will happen I can tell you that. I believe in this squad. The players are my heroes and true heroism is always rewarded.

"They have re-written history and are destined for greatness. I know they like to work and play together and that is a major quality. When they want something they are unstoppable and unbreakable.

"They never cease to impress me. When you take into account the adversity they have faced, the way they have bounced back has been brilliant."

And Houllier appears to have little intention of taking a back seat from his role of rebuilding the Anfield empire.

He said: "My life is about football - it has been football all my life. I was craving to be back.

"When you care as much as I do about the club you have to be involved, and I don't play golf.

We're still in contention to win the title and the Champions League and the vision is to win both
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier
"When you have been through an ordeal and been very near death you don't look at things from the same perspective.

"I had some values before this - I'm not going to tell you what they are - but they have been re-inforced.

"My wish is to be like Bobby Robson. When you look at Bobby Robson you want to play for him, when you see his enthusiasm, his passion.

"It's not just about tactics it is about personality."

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier
"These players are my heroes"
BBC Sport's Andy Buckley
"Steven Gerrard is back in midfield"
See also:

02 Apr 02 |  Business
Clubs consider TV cash deal
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