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Sep, 9, 2010

Thompson confirms he turned down Villa role

Phil Thompson has confirmed he turned down the chance to link up with Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa.

• Forum: How do you rate Houllier?
• Houllier takes Villa job

Thompson forged a fine working relationship with Houllier during their time together at Liverpool and it would appear the Frenchman moved to bring his former assistant with him to Villa Park.

Houllier was confirmed as Villa's new boss on Wednesday evening, but one of his first tasks will be to find an assistant after Thompson revealed he could not commit 100% to the job.

"We had a great relationship [at Liverpool] and it was very flattering," Thompson told Sky Sports News. "It was a wonderful opportunity that he gave me and I agonised over it for days.

"I had to think about it and how I would do it. Gerard is so meticulous and works 12-hour days. It would have meant me moving to Birmingham and putting my heart and soul into it, it would have been a minimum of four or five days living away from home, and I just could not commit to that.

"And if I could not commit to it, it would have been wrong for Gerard Houllier, wrong for Aston Villa and wrong for the fans. I needed to be 100% committed and if I thought it was going to damage my family life, I could not do that. That was the sole reason. It was a fantastic offer, but I just could not do it."

Houllier is now hoping to appoint another of his former Liverpool backroom staff - Patrice Bergues. Bergues also worked alongside Houllier at Lens and Lyon at club level as well as with the French Football Federation in the late 1990s.

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