Houllier lining up targets

Villa caretaker boss Gary McAllister maintains that Houllier is

continuing to make good progress after a month’s recuperation. He

believes that “everything points” to Houllier being back at the

helm next season although any binding decisions will take place at

the end of the campaign. But the Frenchman, who will not be present

against Liverpool on Sunday, has already earmarked a list of

potential targets and players who may be leaving the midlands club

this summer. McAllister said: “Gerard is very good. I’ve seen a lot

more of him in the recent week or so. “He is up and around and

popped up to the training ground the other day and had some chats

with the chairman and the chief executive. “He is a lot better. He

has ventured away from home which is good. “There was a wee whisper

about Gerard coming to Sunday’s game and he was half thinking about

it but he won’t be there.” McAllister added: “All the decisions

will be taking place after the final game of the season and we see

what our final league position is. “Then we will try and start

putting things into operation. It’s going to be a busy time getting

organised for next season. “The full schedule for pre-season

training has been done and Gerard has got all these lists of

targets and decisions on players who might not be part of the plans

moving forward.” When asked if Houllier had spoken to him about

next season, McAllister said: “Absolutely. Everything that Gerard

says to me points to him being here and that’s just the way he is.”

McAllister, a former Liverpool player, believes Villa will not

require a radical overhaul of their squad as he reiterated the

desire to keep Ashley Young who has one year left of his contract.

He said: “Gerard is keen to get two or three of his own players in

but in previous seasons at this club before we arrived, there were

some good finishes here. “It won’t need a great deal of surgery. We

feel we need two or three players adding to what we have got. “If

you watched us last week at the Emirates (winning against Arsenal)

that suggests that’s the case. “It’s not major reshuffling but,

like any manager, he wants to bring his own players in. “They are

players that can push on and press the philosophy of Gerard to his

younger players and everybody here.” Regarding Young’s future,

McAllister said: “We are doing everything we can to keep Ashley

Young. “He has got a year left of his contract so we are still

holding the aces but we appreciate that there are people

interested. “It’s been well documented but Aston Villa are trying

to keep him here.”