Houllier must wait to take Villa reins

ITN News

by ITN News

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Gerard Houllier has been unveiled as Aston Villa's new manager - but does not expect to formally take charge for nearly another fortnight.

Houllier has shaken hands on a three-year deal with Villa but has to agree a departure date from his role of technical director with the French Football Federation.

If all goes to plan, the 63-year-old Frenchman is set to be at the helm for the first time for the home Carling Cup game with Blackburn on September 22.

Houllier will not attend Monday's Premier League clash at Stoke while he thrashes out the terms of his exit from the FFF.

He will return to England for the home match with Bolton on September 18 but Kevin MacDonald will remain as caretaker boss for the next few days.

Houllier said: "I take great pride in my appointment as manager of Aston Villa. It is a great honour for me."

Houllier also confirmed that MacDonald will not be part of Villa's first-team set-up.

He said: "I spoke to Kevin this morning and he prefers to go back to his role as reserve-team manager.

"He has done a very good job and I trust him and I am sure our relationship will be good."