Bruce- Give Houllier time

Houllier has only been at the helm for four months but fans chanted 'you're getting sacked in the morning' after a 1-0 home reversal by the Black Cats. Press Association Sport understands Houllier's job is not currently in jeopardy despite a goal from former Villa loan signing Phil Bardsley sending the home side into the bottom three for the first time since November 2003.

Villa recovered to finish sixth that season and now Bruce is urging the club's owner, Randy Lerner, to stay solid in his support of Houllier.

Bruce told Press Association Sport: "I suppose with a few results on Wednesday, there will be a few managers come under the cosh.

"As far as I'm concerned, Villa made the appointment. In the few months, it hasn't gone so well for Gerard. But they've picked him as the man so give him a bit of time and see if he can turn it around.

"A few months is very early. Come on, surely he deserves a bit more time than that, hopefully. It (the call to be sacked) is a bit of a culture. Radio stations 24 hours a day, TV 24 hours a day, with this Premier League does create this sort of pressure."

Source: PA

Source: PA