Villa boss wants to see 'fighting teeth'
Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier wants to see his new side emerge from their comfort zone and start winning trophies. Houllier will be in charge of his first Villa match on Wednesday in the home Carling Cup encounter with Blackburn. The same competition brought Houllier his first trophy when manager of Liverpool in 2001, the Reds defeating Villa's local rivals Birmingham in the final in Cardiff. Houllier believes that success gave the Reds the confidence to enjoy a successful spell under him. And the 63-year-old is aware just what ending a 14-year trophy drought would mean to the Villa supporters. Houllier said: "Winning a trophy would be fantastic for the club and a huge reward for the fans. It will come. "Maybe what the club needs is more ambition and to show its fighting teeth. Sometimes when you are a good club, everything is fine and the comfort is there. "Maybe what we need is to get out of this comfort zone and get results a bit more. "The passion is there but the ambition to win things would do well at this club. "The image is a nice club. We want to be a winning club, and a nice winning club." Houllier continued: "Winning that first trophy with Liverpool was crucial. It took a lot of pressure off the team. It came as a relief. We had actually won something. "Even Chelsea lifted their first league title after winning the League Cup. "I remember speaking to Jose Mourinho and saying, 'Don't neglect this cup because, if you win it, on the back of that, confidence grows'. "That is exactly what happened. After that we practically won everything at Liverpool and we want to win something at Villa." Houllier intends to bring in his own playing style and training methods at Villa but accepts it will take time. He said: "Obviously, playing a different way won't be done overnight. You can't change habits in the middle of a competition. It has got to be gradual. "Short term I need to know the players more and they need to get used to the different type of training, more continental in terms of tactics and variety of drills. "It will take time to implement and be accepted. You come with your philosophies and beliefs and need to convince the players to do them as well. "The first mission is to get results, the second to be entertaining. At the top level of the game, you need entertainment for television and the fans. That will take some time." Houllier intends to rotate his squad against Blackburn and anticipates a half dozen changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Bolton on Saturday. Central defender Richard Dunne is ruled out with a knee problem while midfielder Stephen Ireland is battling to overcome a dead leg suffered in training. Houllier confirmed promising winger Marc Albrighton would be rested after figuring prominently in the opening phase of the campaign.
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