Gerard Houllier and John Carew have been urged to bury their differences and to start behaving like “grown men” — if Aston Villa are to haul themselves out of relegation trouble.
Villa manager Houllier has been given further backing from chief executive Paul Faulkner in the wake of the dismal 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland on Wednesday night, which plunged the club into the relegation zone for the first time in seven years.
The club's hierarchy insist they will stick by the 63-year-old Frenchman, despite calls from the majority of fans for him to be sacked, but captain Stiliyan Petrov wants another truce between Houllier and Carew if Villa are to battle their way to safety.
Carew has been constantly over-looked by Houllier since his former Lyon manager arrived as a replacement for Martin O'Neill in the summer and relations between the pair have hit an all-time low.
West Bromwich Albion are ready to offer the Norwegian a fresh start away from Villa Park, but with the club in serious danger of being relegated, Petrov believes it would be a huge mistake to allow last season's top scorer to leave in the midst of the crisis.
“I think the manager and him need to sort that out between themselves. They are grown men and I think everything is about the club,” said Petrov.
“If you want to have someone in the team you need to go and see what he can do. If we can have him it will be great because he has scored goals for us. We know what John is capable of. If they can sort it out we would definitely welcome him for the team. I would pick anybody who is available.”
Petrov also called on Carew to justify his cult status among Villa fans and do all he can to assist the club, adding: “I won't go into details, but I tell you what, if John wants to show these fans that he wants to belong here, I hope he is going to help us because we really need him.”