Despite the credible draw against Chelsea on Sunday, Gerard Houllier remains under pressure at Villa Park after failing to make a major impact since his arrival in September.
Do or die: Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is under pressure
Rumours of rifts with a number of senior players - including John Carew, Richard Dunne and Steve Ireland - has placed even more uncertainty over his job.
Piling the pressure: Robert Pires says manager Houllier (left) has two games to save his job
But Pires has piled the pressure on his boss by claiming the forthcoming Barclays Premier League game against Sunderland and the FA Cup third round clash against Championship side Sheffield United could determine whether Houllier keeps his job.
The former Arsenal midfielder said: 'What's certain is that the two games coming up against Sunderland and against Sheffield United in the FA Cup will be very, very decisive for Gerard's future.'
On speculation regarding the relationship between Houllier and certain players, Pires continued in The Sun: 'It's true it's a bit tense. Gerard is having trouble getting his message across.
'He is used to a certain way ofworking and he arrives with new methods. From what I've understood,there have been several meetings between Gerard and the players whodidn't really agree with him.
Headded: 'It's not an easy task for Gerard because he has the idea to getoff to a new start with new players, so I think the transfer windowwill be very busy on our side in January.
'Fromwhat I gathered, given what he's said, he really needs players becausehe wants to freshen up his squad.
'There will be a lot of departures,some arrivals. Results have been mediocre but what makes me honestlythink things can get better is the draw against Chelsea.'
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