Houllier keeps the faith

Villa find themselves in the relegation zone for the first time since November 2003 after being beaten 1-0 at home by Sunderland. Former Villa loan player Phil Bardsley scored his first top-flight goal to leave the Holte End chanting towards Houllier `you're getting sacked in the morning'.

The message was repeated at the end to leave Houllier feeling "hurt", although he understands the frustration of the Villa supporters. But he is adamant Lerner - and chief executive Paul Faulkner - will continue to support him after just three-and-a-half months in charge.

Houllier said: "I know about the chants. I heard that. It hurts but I understand their frustration. They were fantastic at the end and the players can't complain about the fans.

"Every time we were under the cosh, or every time we had to come back into the game, they were pushing and supporting the team. What is important is that you have the backing of the chairman and the chief executive."

Houllier added: "I spoke to Paul Faulkner and he was extremely supportive. I understand it is not easy for them. I don't doubt Randy Lerner's firm support and determination. We are in this together for better or worse. At the moment, we are going through the worse."

Source: PA

Source: PA