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A new era but Kevin MacDonald is back with the reserves

The press conference with Gérard Houllier is taking place as I write this but we can confirm that Kevin MacDonald will not be the assistant manager and will continue working with the reserves.

The manager has also pledged a new era at the football club with changes to come in terms of 'training, habits, everything'. One thing is for sure, change is needed but if it is all good change, it is for the best and in time, could see us mount a serious challenge for Champions League football - which is I'm told, the first step.

Overall the press conference has gone as you would expect, but the manager is positive and realistic. He comes across as very confident and a man that knows what he wants.

Gérard Houllier
I had a good and safe job at the French Football Federation, but Villa's ambition made me feel I wanted to be part of the team.

I am working on naming an assistant manager. Joint management doesn't work, but in some capacity as assistant manager he [Kevin MacDonald] would have been helpful. He could also have maybe learnt the trade and, who knows, taken over from me. But I understand his decision, he's a nice bloke so I won't hurt him - I told him I'd like him to stay at the club.

I'm here to meet anyone who says it's not a good club, so lets try to make it better. The facilities are first class, the training ground is really good, there is a vision for the future. It's down now to us to work hard to bring success and joy to the fans. The fans are most important, they are passionate, vocal and fantastic.

You can listen to the press conference here and I have no doubt there will be copies of it flying around later.