Gerard Houllier is enjoying introducing his own philosophies at Aston Villa as he tackles life in the Premier League for a second time.
The Frenchman boss took over last month but has not had much time to install his own regime at Villa Park.
In the five weeks he has been at the club, just under half of his time has been interrupted.
During last week’s international break he lost half of his squad in the build-up to Saturday’s goalless draw with Chelsea.
However, with no further European Championship qualifying fixtures taking place until March, Houllier is looking forward to spending some quality time with his team.
Asked if he was pleased at how quickly the players have taken his philosophies on board, Houllier said: “Yes, they look as if they really want to play now.
“I like my football to start from the back. Sometimes you can play long ball but sometimes you have to build-up from the back.
“We had a really attacking side. I like the team that takes the initiative and takes risks.
“Even when Nigel Reo-Coker went through (against Chelsea) I was happy because he didn’t stop and hold the ball. He went right to the end. It will take time. We have not reached our target by far.”
Extra training sessions have been a regular occurance since Houllier took over the reigns – with his new fitness staff looking to increase the players’ stamina.
So far the playing staff have backed the manager’s decision as they aim to build on last Saturday’s impressive point.
“We have a different philosophy maybe,” said Houllier. “I very much like that. I still think we need to be more confident in the passing.
“Against Chelsea they’ve got four in defence and three in the middle so it’s difficult to beat them.
“Ball possession doesn’t mean you have to stand still, it means you have to run in the spaces.
“What pleased me most was that we had to cope with practically four casualties, with three overnight plus one in the game.
“I was pleased with those that filled in because they showed a commitment, the attitude was the same, and also we had to reshuffle our attacking side.
“Someone who played extremely well was Stewart Downing because he not only posed problems, he also stopped Ashley Cole. Ashley Young did a tremendous job as well.”