Houllier stands by the team he left Liverpool.
He told the Daily Mail: "I think 12 of the 14 players involved in Istanbul had been with me and it will live with me all my life how the players greeted me after the game.’
"Danny Murphy improved. Emile Heskey improved. Michael Owen won the Ballon d’Or. I don’t think he realised how big it was at the time.
"Steven Gerrard became a better player. So did Carra. Everyone improved. You need to improve your players and improve your team. Here I am now trying to get some players to step up another level.
"It requires hard work in training, and maybe a different style and a different regime, but I believe they can do it.
"And we can bring on the young players, like Bannan and Albrighton, and develop them. I promoted them to the first team because I think they are talented, and they have seized their chance.
"We still need to work with them but their loyalty to the club is fantastic. They have all grown up together here."