Judge me in February - Houllier

Houllier believes February would be a fairer time to judge him when the senior players returning to action after lengthy lay-offs are back to full fitness and sharpness.

Villa have slipped too close to the bottom three for comfort after Tuesday's 4-0 mauling at Manchester City - and on Sunday have to visit champions Chelsea. A section of fans voiced their disapproval at Houllier and the players after the defeat at Eastlands. But Houllier has taken comfort from the support of club owner Randy Lerner.

He said: "Am I fighting for my job? If I have to do that, then I am in the wrong club. I don't think so. I know that at some stage you go through difficult times.

"In difficult times you see the people around you - and they have been top class. Mr Lerner knows we are going through a difficult period. Even with Martin (O'Neill) there was a period when they weren't winning games."

Houllier added: "What's a fair timescale for me to be judged fairly? Well I didn't expect to go that down (the table). But at the same time I think it's an exciting challenge, even more so. What I need is to get some players fighting together to get some results and see where we are in February."

Source: PA

Source: PA