McAllister managing as stand-in

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.

“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 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.” McAllister can detect an inner confidence in

Bent regarding his own ability. He said: “Darren does not moan if

some things go against him like disallowed goals and penalty

shouts. “That’s someone who trusts in his own ability because he

knows, if he keeps working and making the movements, he will get

another chance. “That is a big skill. He has been in and around the

Premier League a long time now and he knows his job. “Strikers

don’t get disappointed when they miss chances or don’t get the

right service. “They just keep going and know if they get the

chance, they will take it. “He also does not rant at referees. I

like that. You see some strikers throwing their arms up in the air

but he just quietly gets on with his job and does the business and

he has produced. “He has been rewarded. He is looking like maybe he

could be Fabio Capello’s main man for England.”