Changes will take time – Houllier

Houllier intends to alter Villa’s playing style and training

methods with the aid of new assistant manager Gary McAllister and

first-team coach Gordon Cowans. But the former Liverpool boss does

not expect his revolution at Villa Park to happen overnight.

Houllier, who has signed a three-year deal, said: “In the short

term I need to know the players more and they need to get used to

the different types of training – more continental in terms of

tactics – and a variety of drills. “It will take time to implement

and be accepted. You come with philosophies and beliefs and need to

convince the players to do them. “Will we be playing in a different

way? Obviously it won’t be done overnight. You can’t change habits

in the middle of a competition. It has got to be gradual. “The

first mission is to get results, the second is to be entertaining.

At the top level you need entertainment for TV and the fans. That

will take some time. “But the players are eager to improve and

everyone can progress provided the right environment and motivation

is there.” Houllier accepts the current first team squad have been

through a testing period after Martin O’Neill quit as manager five

days before the start of the new campaign. He said: “We have to

improve in a few areas and the players know that. But it has not

been easy for the players. “The last manager went just before the

start of the season and there has been a caretaker manager (Kevin

MacDonald) and a new manager. “The team needs to settle and get

used to different things but in time it will settle down.” Houllier

has fond memories of the League Cup as it provided him with his

first major trophy with Liverpool in 2001. He intends to rotate

some of the players against Blackburn but insists the competition

will be taken seriously. He said: “We will not be putting out a

lesser side. It will be a good side. I will rotate some of the

players and I will not be the only manager to have done that. “The

League Cup was the first trophy I won at Liverpool and, if you win

five games, you are at Wembley. “We all know the club is desperate

for some silverware. We want that and to reach a high position in

the league. That is what we are here for.” Houllier is delighted to

be linking up with McAllister, who played under him at Liverpool,

and Cowans, who won the European Cup with Villa in 1982. He said:

“I trust Gary and he knows how I want to play while Gordon is a

hero here and I was pleased when he said he would like to work with

me.”