McAllister: No Villans mutiny

Defenders Richard Dunne and James Collins were recently involved in

a bust-up with coaching staff at a team bonding session, and were

understood to have each been fined two weeks’ wages. Goalkeeper

Brad Friedel and other members of the squad were then reported to

be unhappy with rules enforced by manager Gerard Houllier,

including the banning of mobile phones in the dressing room.

However Friedel was swift to describe talk of a revolt as

“laughable”, and McAllister stresses there is no cause for concern.

“I don’t think there’s any mutiny here,” the former Liverpool and

Leeds midfielder told BBC Sport. “There’s been little arguments

here and there but nothing outside the realms of what happens at

most clubs.” Villa’s precarious position towards the foot of the

Premier League may have heightened concerns over off-field issues,

with the team just one point outside the relegation zone heading

into the final eight games of the season. McAllister is confident

Villa can climb away from danger, saying: “I’ve seen some of the

players talking about pride, playing for the fans, playing for the

jersey – they know we’re in a bit of trouble and we need to

produce. “I agree some players in other teams are a little bit more

hardened. But I don’t think it’s going to be a problem because

players’ pride and quality will lift them above it.” The Scot also

defended Houllier, who many Villa fans called on the board to sack

after the recent home defeat to Wolves. “Gerard Houllier is a

proven manager – I’m working under somebody who’s had to make big

decisions, won things,” said McAllister.