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."