Former Liverpool Manager Gerard Houllier Expects Top-Four Finish From Reds

From the owners, to the coaching staff, to the players, the entire Liverpool organization has acknowledged that the club's goal is to get back into the Champions League next season.

Cracking the top four isn't as easy as it used to be, with clubs like Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur joining England's traditional "Big Four" in the hunt for European places, but the Reds have at least one believer in former manager Gerard Houllier.

Speaking to talkSPORT about a variety of issues, mainly his well-documented heart troubles, the Frenchman commented on Liverpool's quest to bring European nights back to Anfield.

"I think they'll finish in the top four. I believe in them," he said. "Don't forget Steven Gerrard is not playing and, when he comes back, he'll make a difference."

Houllier enjoyed a memorable stint managing Liverpool from 1998-2004, notably winning the unorthodox treble of the UEFA Cup, the League Cup and the FA Cup in the 2000-01 season, and also playing a pivotal role in Gerrard's development into a world class player.

Houllier was brought to Liverpool as "joint manager" with Roy Evans, a setup which failed to the surprise of no one, as Evans resigned early into the 1998 season.

Houllier's career also includes spells as manager of the French national team, Olympique Lyon, and, most recently, Aston Villa.

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