Gerard Houllier has said that he is relieved to win the match against West Brom in the Barclays Premier league. Villa’s sorry 3-0 defeat at Houllier’s former club Liverpool had raised questions, but the French boss felt his players responded well to adversity.

“I was pleased with the attitude. When you go through a bad patch, you need to keep cool and more focused,” he said.

“The feeling is one of relief. I was proud of the response of the players.”

Goals in each half from Stewart Downing and the fit-again Emile Heskey, both from Marc Albrighton crosses, ensured that former Wigan star Paul Scharner’s late header counted for nothing as the impressive visitors pushed the hosts hard at Villa Park.