Houllier 'positive' after Lerner talks

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has held "positive" talks with club owner Randy Lerner in the wake of the club's current poor run of results.

Houllier met with Lerner, and his group of backroom staff, after the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool on Monday, which left Villa only two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

Houllier even cancelled a scouting mission, involving a Champions League clash in his native France, in a bid to find a solution to Villa's disappointing sequence of results.

He said: "We were supposed to go to France after the Liverpool game because I wanted to see a Champions League game on Tuesday night.

"But I cancelled that and stayed with the team and staff.

"We had meetings because we are concerned with what is going on.

"In one of those meetings there was an encounter with the chairman. It was extremely positive.


"He knows we are going through a bad run. You've got to stick together and push up -- as simple as that."

Houllier has brushed off criticism from Lerner's right-hand man, General Charles Krulak, over his behaviour at Anfield -- he angered Villa fans by not acknowledging them after waving to Liverpool fans.

Houllier said: "I am not going to blame General Krulak, he has got the right to have an opinion and express it even if sometimes it doesn't help me. I've got enough on my plate to bother about that."

Meanwhile, Houllier is taking no disciplinary action against defender James Collins over having a meal in Birmingham on Saturday night less than 48 hours before the Reds game.

He said: "I had a word with James about that. It was a Saturday night and we were playing on Monday.

"He was in a restaurant with his wife, that is what he told me.

"Apparently there was no drink, no problems."