McAllister eyes eighth for Villa

McAllister – in charge while Gerard Houllier recovers in hospital

after suffering chest pains – said he was not looking at the run-in

as a potential relegation scrap. Instead he is confident that

10th-placed Villa can finish the season on a high and give a boost

to Houllier – starting with Saturday’s home clash with Stoke.

McAllister said: “There are 15 points to play for, places in the

Premier League up for grabs. We want to finish as high as we can.

“We’ve got to try and get a nice boost for the manager and keep

this run going.” Tony Pulis’ side will arrive at Villa Park also

looking over their shoulder at the relegation fight. But McAllister

insisted Villa were only looking upwards. He said: “We are not

necessarily looking at it from the perspective of looking to get

points for safety. “We are looking to get as many points as we can.

Whether we can get to eighth position I don’t know, but that is a

realistic target.” McAllister is confident he has sufficient

back-up support should he remain at the helm following the Stoke

match. “We’ve only looked at this game. We’ve got plenty of

resources here,” he said. “I’ve got Gordon Cowans (first team

coach) and Rafa Gonzalez (goalkeeping coach). “I can lean on Kevin

MacDonald (reserve team coach) who has stepped into this position

before as well Tony McAndrew (youth team coach). There are plenty

of people for me to lean on.” Villa will be at full strength for

Saturday’s match with midfielder Fabian Delph having recovered from

a groin injury.