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McAllister managing as stand-in


Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister is confident his experience will stand him in good stead as he continues to stand in for Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa - although he admits he is still learning how to deal with the modern-day footballer.

McAllister was promoted from Houllier's assistant to caretaker boss for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stoke while the Frenchman remains in hospital recovering from chest pains. The former Scotland midfielder has had managerial spells at Leeds and Coventry previously and is sure he can hold the fort at Villa Park until Houllier is fit to return.

He said: "The facts are I'm a professional man. I'm the number two and when the manager is not here, I've got to go in. I'm fortunate I've managed another big city club in Leeds and another not far away from here at Coventry."

McAllister added: "I've got experience and I've played with a lot of these type of players in my periods at Leeds and Liverpool so I think I know them.

"I'm trying to get better at knowing the character of the modern-day player. My experience is not massive. My main experience is coming from being an ex-player.

"But there's no doubt having worked with chairmen like Ken Bates (at Leeds) and Mike McGinnity at Coventry, that bit of experience has helped."

Darren Bent grabbed Villa's equaliser at the weekend after Kenwyne Jones had put Stoke ahead.

Bent has now scored seven goals in 12 appearances following his controversial club-record £18million move from Sunderland in January. The fee could rise to £24million depending on how the England striker performs and McAllister would love the club to shell out even more.

"I don't think that you can argue that Darren has been a fantastic signing," he said. "You look at the prices that followed that (Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres) in January for signings and it is starting to look very good.

"If it is an £18 million fee and rising, it means Darren is hitting targets. I don't think Aston Villa will be complaining if the transfer fee goes up a bit because he is reaching the goals that have been set."