Houllier backs Hodgson to bounce back

Former Liverpool coach Gerard Houllier publicly backed current Reds boss Roy Hodgson today and said he was perfectly placed to lead the club out of their current crisis.

Liverpool crashed out of the League Cup against fourth-division Northampton Town in mid-week and are already ten points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League after five matches.

Houllier experienced a similar setback during his Anfield tenure when Liverpool lost to Grimsby Town in the League Cup, and the new Villa boss sympathised with Hodgson's plight.

"It (the Northampton defeat) was a disaster. I lost against Grimsby myself. For Roy the next game is the most important," said Houllier, Liverpool coach from 1998 until 2004. "Forget about the past. You know when you play a European game or a cup game, sometimes you prioritise -- which he did.

"We did as well against Blackburn in the Carling (Cup). He will be all right. The boys like him. They will play for him."

Liverpool host Sunderland on Saturday, while Houllier will take charge of Villa for the first time at Wolverhampton on Sunday.