Houllier happy with Friedel

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

Friedel will become the oldest player to play for the club and surpass the record of 39 years and 257 days set by Ernie Callaghan in 1947 when he plays against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The American is out of contract in the summer and will sit down with Houllier to discuss his future at the end of February. But there have been few signs of his form diminishing as Villa look to build on a run of just one defeat in the last seven games. Houllier said: "Brad should be a role model. He's a top-class professional. "He looks after himself, he trains hard and does even more in terms of yoga and things. "He loves the game and wants to win. "He's also a very reassuring figure in the dressing room because he's consistent." Regarding Friedel's possible retirement, Houllier added: "I told him that at the end of February we'll have a first assessment. "I said to him 'we're not looking at goalkeepers until we can make an assessment on what level you're at'. "He's quite happy with that. I'm quite happy with him. I think he's done well. "If I was not happy with him I would have bought a goalkeeper now, which has never crossed my mind." Villa came close to ending United's unbeaten record earlier in the season when they led 2-0 with just 15 minutes remaining before the Red Devils earned a 2-2 draw. Houllier also takes heart from his good record against United when in charge of Liverpool. He said: "First of all, every manager likes to play at Old Trafford. It is true I had a good record with my former club in England. "But I think the game against them at Villa Park is the one I remember. "We could have been three or four up before they came back and equalised." Villa's £18million club record signing, striker Darren Bent, will return after being cup-tied for the FA Cup fourth-round triumph over Blackburn at the weekend.


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