No early holiday for Villa

BY foxsports • May 14, 2011

Asked if his players thoughts had turned to sunnier climes and the prospect of lying on a beach, McAllister said: "There'll be none of that. "The fact we're playing Arsenal and Liverpool in these final two games, that cannot be allowed to happen. Players with pride won't allow that to happen. "They will be going in there pitting their wits against two very good teams, two sets of players you can measure yourself against." Despite Villa's atrocious record in north London - both at Highbury and the Emirates Stadium which has seen them win just once in their last 16 visits - McAllister feels Villa can exploit the Gunners' current frailties. Since back-to-back defeats to Barcelona and Manchester United in March to end their interest in the Champions League and FA Cup respectively, Arsenal have collected a mere 11 points from the last 27 on offer to slide out of contention in the title race. "As an ex-player, this is a fixture you always look for," added McAllister. "When I played I loved the fixture against Arsenal. It's always a great barometer for you to measure yourself against good players. "Arsenal have been a fantastic team for a long time, and if you can go there and be a player and project yourself, it's a good sign you can cope with playing against good players and a good team. "If you sit back and admire Arsenal and allow them to get into a rhythm then they can be very dangerous. There is no team as pretty on the eye as Arsenal can be. "But they have had a tough, frustrating season as well, and as much as I'll pass on the strengths of Arsenal, we have to be looking at the weaknesses that have crept into recent results." McAllister has confirmed Emile Heskey apologised after his moment of rage in last Saturday's home draw with Wigan in which he was fortunate not to be dismissed. Infuriated by a string of decisions, Heskey barged into referee Mike Jones, yet escaped with a yellow card. "He's fine and he's apologised. I spoke to him Saturday night, and he wasn't happy with his reaction. It was very uncharacteristic," said McAllister. "He felt he wasn't getting any protection after two late challenges in his back, but he knows he cannot react like that, and he also knows he was lucky." McAllister opted not to take any internal disciplinary action, adding: "It was an isolated incident as far as I'm concerned, not something I associate with Emile." Villa face Arsenal without defender Ciaran Clark due to a niggly hamstring problem, but with midfielder Jean Makoun available after missing the last two games with a dead leg.


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