McAllister: Houllier will be back

Assistant boss McAllister will be in charge of Saturday’s home

Premier League clash with Stoke while Houllier remains in hospital

after suffering chest pains on Wednesday. McAllister was a player

at Liverpool when Houllier underwent heart surgery a decade ago and

initially feared the worst after hearing of his current plight. But

his mind was soon put at rest and Houllier has been helping to

continue to run Villa from his hospital bed. McAllister said: “I

think he will be back, most definitely, knowing the guy. “Once you

get to know him a bit better you’ll know the type of person he is.

“We’re only two days away from it (having chest pains) happening

and I’ve had three teams texted to my phone. “He’s organised

training for the last two days so his mind is on the job. “People

ask why he should want to carry on at his age (63) but you could

level the same question at Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Roy

Hodgson. “These guys are madly, deeply in love with the game and

they cannot go without it. “It’s simple. They’re living through the

game. “Maybe they didn’t get the success as a player but, when

they’ve moved to the managerial side, they’re living that life of

not being top players through the management side.” McAllister

admitted: “I was thinking the worst initially because I was there

in the dressing room at Liverpool and I know what happened when he

left Anfield that day. “He was quickly rushed to hospital and had

11-hour surgery. But this time that’s not the case. There is no

surgery required, and things have settled pretty quickly. “The

doctors want him there in hospital so that they can monitor him, do

the tests they need to do, and get him back on an even keel.”

McAllister knows it is crucial that Houllier listens to the advice

of the specialists before returning to Villa. He was back at work

within five months at Liverpool when in a far worst state

health-wise than now. McAllister said: “I think this time is

definitely going to be dictated by the doctors and the specialist.

It cannot be the gaffer’s decision or anyone at Aston Villa. “It’s

got to be the doctors and the people at the hospital who tell him

when he’s ready to go back. “He would be foolish to not listen to

these people. I think that’s the big thing. “He’s got to be guided

and everybody has got to be guided by the specialist.”