No surgery needed for Houllier

Houllier, who underwent a major heart operation when manager of

Liverpool, was admitted to hospital in Birmingham on Wednesday

evening. But the 63-year-old will need only “medicine and rest” to

recover according to McAllister, who will take charge of the team

against Stoke on Saturday. McAllister, who was a player at

Liverpool when Houllier underwent surgery in 2001, said: “I visited

Gerard yesterday (Thursday) in hospital after training and was

surprised how well he looked. “It was really surprising. If you

took away all the stuff attached to his arms, he didn’t look ill.

“He is on the coronary ward. He was great and bubbly. He had a

tough night but he was looking surprisingly well and in fine

fettle.” When asked if Houllier would need surgery, McAllister

said: “They (the specialists) are definitely saying there is no

surgery needed, which is a massive plus. “The last time there was

major surgery. This time there will be no surgery needed, purely

medicine and rest.” McAllister is confident the players will rally

around Houllier in the same way as when Phil Thompson took charge

at Anfield in the absence of the Frenchman. He said: “There was

shock within the Liverpool dressing room and we knew there was a

major problem with the length of the surgery and what it entailed.

It was a big operation. “But Phil Thompson came in and that midweek

we went to Kiev for a Champions League game and it was the first

time Kiev had been beaten in Russia. “The players rallied and were

playing for the manager and I’m sure that is what will happen here.

“A perfect tonic for the manager will be getting three points

against Stoke.”