Houllier eager to begin Villa challenge

09 September 2010 08:00
Gerard Houllier is relishing the "tremendous challenge" ahead of him after being confirmed as Aston Villa's new manager. Houllier has quit his role as technical director with the French Football Federation to become Martin O'Neill's successor. He will take charge of Villa for the first time in Monday's Barclays Premier League clash at Stoke. Houllier is returning to the Premier League after a six-year absence since parting company with Liverpool. He suffered health problems during his latter days at Anfield but is clearly ready for the task of building on the success brought to Villa by O'Neill. Houllier said: "I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club. It was a very difficult decision for me to leave the FFF [French Football Federation]. But I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired. "Aston Villa is one of England's biggest clubs and has an amazing set of fans. This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking on."

Source: PA