Gerard Houllier is backing his Aston Villa replacement Alex McLeish for success at Villa Park.
The Frenchman is full of respect for his replacement and is hoping McLeish can improve on last season's ninth placed finish following his switch from rivals Birmingham.
"I've known him for a long time, he's a nice person, a nice guy, very straightforward," Houllier told the Birmingham Mail.
"He's football through and through and I think he's a good signing for the club.
"I think he came to visit me in Lyon, but I had met him before. During the 2004 European Championships in Portugal, I had a couple of meals with him.
"We've got mutual friends as well so he's a person I know quite well.
"We were together at a charity event the day after we played each other in the Carling Cup."