Houllier clarifies his Reds remarks

On message boards and forums, Villa supporters turned on Houllier whose side have lost four successive matches, including a run of three in the Barclays Premier League. Speaking in the wake of the latest loss at former club Liverpool at Anfield, Houllier said: "If I have got to lose 3-0, I would prefer it to be to them as I like Liverpool."

It was a remark that did not go down well with Villa fans who felt it was a betrayal of the club he is currently managing.

That has prompted a reply from Houllier who wrote on the official club website: "To the fans who travelled to Liverpool and to all Villa supporters, let me assure that we are working as hard as we possibly can to achieve the level of success which this great club aspires to.

"Everybody is hurting because of recent results and I and my staff are working on putting this right.

"No-one likes to lose 3-0 against any team and, if comments I made in the immediate aftermath of our defeat by Liverpool have been misconstrued - comments which were intended to be humorous."

Source: PA

Source: PA