Recovering Houllier grateful for support

Gerard Houllier is expected to be released from hospital in the next few days.

Gerard Houllier is expected to be released from hospital in the next three or four days, Aston Villa’s doctor has revealed.

The Frenchman was admitted to hospital last Wednesday after complaining of chest pains, which have been found to be caused by a dissection of the descending aorta. He previously underwent open heart surgery when managing Liverpool in 2001.

“All the tests have revealed that his heart is working perfectly,” said doctor Mark Waller. “We are extremely encouraged by Gerard’s improvement over the past six days and we now anticipate that he will be discharged from the coronary care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital within the next three to four days.”

Meanwhile, the 63-year-old manager released a statement saying that he has been touched by the influx of supportive messages. “I am very moved by the fact that so many people have me in their thoughts just now,” he said. “I’m especially grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country. There has been a groundswell of good will and I appreciate this so much.”

Assistant manager Gary McAllister, who stood in for Houllier at last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Stoke, is expected to maintain control for this weekend’s fixture with West Bromwich Albion.

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