Houllier calls for big finish

Gerard Houllier admits Aston Villa are facing eight games which "are vital for our future" after a topsy-turvy season at Villa Park.

The Villa boss also believes the club’s fans, who called for him to be sacked after the home defeat by Wolves, have a big part to play in the battle to avoid relegation.

Villa are only one point ahead of the drop zone ahead of Saturday’s clash with Everton at Goodison Park.

Houllier said: "We know exactly where we stand and the difficulty of our task.

"You have to remain positive. You can’t spend your time reflecting on what happened.

"We have eight games ahead of us now and never mind what has happened in the past.

"This is our league and the eight games ahead are vital for our future.

"Everybody is concerned because we are not dreamers.

"There is a new league starting up for us of eight games and the mood is positive.

"A lot of players are internationals so they have that experience and they know what pressure is.

"I also know their personalities and they want to do well for the fans and the club."

Houllier added: "I can really share the fans’ frustration and anxiety.

"But their influence is so important for us, especially at this stage of the season.

"They are fantastic supporters and, with their support, they can be the 12th man every game."