Belfast Telegraph

Houllier heals Carew row

Gerard Houllier insists outspoken Aston Villa striker John Carew has not played his last game for the midlands club.

Houllier and Carew were involved in a public spat before and after the weekend clash with Fulham. Carew claimed in an interview in his native Norway that comments attributed to Houllier were "disrespectful" in asking him to prove he deserved a new contract and the Villa boss responded by accusing Carew of "being stupid" and "living in the past."

But Houllier is adamant his views on Carew were taken out of context, and said: "We had a meeting with the whole team to clarify things. There was a discrepancy between my words which were full of praise for John Carew, and what was put up in the Norwegian press. John realised that, and that had to be clarified in front of everybody."

Carew is currently sidelined with a torn calf and will be sidelined for three to four weeks.

But Houllier, when asked if Carew would play for Villa again, said: "He is a player for Aston Villa and when he is fit, he will be in contention for playing."

Villa have collected only three points from the last five games but Houllier believes their performances have deserved a greater tangible reward.

They led at Fulham on Saturday before being denied by an injury-time equaliser.

Houllier said: "It is just a shame when you consider we only have one point from the Tottenham, Sunderland and Fulham games.

"Maybe, I would say, a minimum of four or five points would have been more reflecting of the reality of the game.

"Sometimes in the league you have to go through those things. Maybe there are some games we will win without not totally deserving it."

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