Buy British, urges Mortimer

Villa have played down speculation that Mark Hughes will replace

Houllier after he resigned as Fulham boss. But Mortimer, who

skippered Villa to the European Cup in 1982, hopes Lerner will

appoint from within these shores after Frenchman Houllier ended his

reign after his recent heart problems. He said: “I would rather see

a British manager in charge of Villa. I just feel that we don’t

give our British managers much of a chance. “We go for these people

from abroad who have been around a bit but they are not always the

right choice. “Get someone fresh who understands the game here.

There are people out there and I just hope it is not a foreign

manager. “I get fed up with foreign managers because we need to

give our British managers a chance.” Former Villa boss Graham

Taylor has urged Lerner to appoint a new manager as soon as

possible – to avoid a repeat of last summer’s turmoil. Villa were

left without a manager five days before the start of the campaign

after Martin O’Neill opted to part company with the club after four

years in charge. It meant the transfer window had closed before

Houllier arrived in mid-September and he had to wait until January

before being able to make his mark via new arrivals. Taylor said:

“I just hope Villa don’t delay the appointment of a new manager

because Gerard Houllier came in when the transfer window had almost

gone. “They should learn from that. If they’ve made their mind up,

the type of manager they want, who they want, I would like them to

move for him very early. “I think it is very important to settle

the situation and for the new manager to be able to work the

transfer window if he is allowed to do so – which I think he will

be. “Also it is very important for the players. Whatever people say

about players, when they report back for pre-season, it is very

important everyone knows who Villa’s manager is. “Otherwise it will

be another possibility of a strange start and not everyone knowing

each other.” “Let’s make sure Villa are settled much as possible by

the start of the new season.” Lerner is an admirer of axed Chelsea

boss Carlo Ancelotti, but former England head coach Steve McClaren

and one-time Tottenham manager Martin Jol are also believed to be

under consideration.