Gerard Houllier offers backing to Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier returns to Liverpool tonight backing Roy Hodgson to revive the fortunes of the Merseysiders.

Houllier can look back with satisfaction on his six years at Anfield and has "no regrets" after lifting the Reds out of the doldrums by winning half a dozen trophies.

Now he will meet long-time friend Hodgson in opposite dug-outs for the first time and is confident the former Fulham boss will bring the good times back to Liverpool.

He said: "Roy is a great pal of mine, he has been a good friend for a long time.

"We first met when he was coach at Malmo and I was at Paris St Germain and we had an indoor tournament.

"It has gone on from there. It was a League Managers' meeting where I saw him again - but we meet several times in a year.

"I don't think we have ever managed teams that have played against one another before.

"I am sure he will turn it around at Liverpool. He will do it. No problem. Give him a bit of time.

"He needs to change a few things. The problem is at Liverpool, when you lose, it's a crisis."

Houllier has retained a soft spot for Liverpool but knows it is important for Villa to obtain a positive result after a poor start to the campaign.

He said: "There is far more pressure than here (at Villa). But the board were patient, they knew we had to reconstruct and we did. Each year you try to build.

"I always think the mission of a manager is three-fold.

"The first one is to win a trophy and have silverware and win titles and so on - and we did that.

"The second one is to leave a legacy. I would just use my former chairman's words. He said 'you put the club into the 21st century' which it needed, maybe at the time.

"The legacy is the team because the team that was left with Rafa (Benitez) won the Champions League the following year.

"We also had new facilities and maybe a new style of professionalism I would say.

"I think the third mission of a manager is to make your players improve.

"We had a Ballon d'Or with Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard is a world-class international player.

"All the players, whether it was Danny Murphy, Emile Heskey, Stephane Henchoz or Sami Hyypia, all did well, contributed and became better players."

Houllier added: "I want to be proud of my team at the end of the game.

"That is the aim and we are desperate for a win.

"I wish we were in a better position, yes, because I would take more risks."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future