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New Villa boss Houllier in daily contact with caretaker MacDonald

Caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald revealed new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has wasted no time in bedding down at Aston Villa. Houllier, who was appointed in the post last week, was initially expected to take charge of Villa for their Premier League visit of Bolton on Saturday.

The Frenchman will now formally take charge for Villa's Carling Cup encounter with Blackburn Rovers next Wednesday.

MacDonald will take the reins one final time against the Trotters before handing them to Houllier.

"We've been in daily contact," said MacDonald. "We've actually spoken two or three times a day about a variety of things.

"We talked about the defeat on Monday (at Stoke), and in particular the players because obviously he's trying to get up to speed with them very, very quickly.

"I even spoke to him late last night after the reserves' victory over Manchester United, so he is aware of everything that's going on at the football club."

MacDonald says Houllier has already developed an affinity with Villa, and was devastated by their last-gasp defeat at Stoke.

"We spoke about what happened, and his thoughts are not ones I'd like to divulge. It would be wrong of me to say," added MacDonald, indicating Houllier was far from happy.

"Of course he was disappointed, as we all were because we felt the nature of our performance deserved better than what we got, but in the end we didn't get anything and that was the big thing."

MacDonald has confirmed, despite Houllier's presence on Saturday, he will take sole authority over team selection and tactics.

"At the moment, and again I spoke to him this morning, he said he would just leave me to get on with it and then he'll start after," said MacDonald.

"He didn't feel it would be right to go in and speak to the players to undermine what I was trying to do, although he may say something after, I don't know.

"But he has told me to get on with it, to make the decisions, which is very fair of him."

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