No excuses from McAllister

BY foxsports • May 21, 2011

Villa will bring the curtain down on a campaign in which four different managers have been at the helm - Martin O'Neill, caretaker Kevin MacDonald, Gerard Houllier and now stand-in boss McAllister. They have been hovering above the relegation zone for most of the season after three top-six finishes in a row. McAllister knows they have to improve on that but can also see grounds for optimism ahead of the final game with Liverpool at Villa Park on Sunday. He said: "It has most definitely not been a successful season. This place is geared for better than that. "It has been a massive season of change and you can maybe look for that as an excuse - but we don't see it as an excuse. It's been disappointing. "It's been frustrating but there is enough to suggest we can take it forward. There are a lot of encouraging things. "In a very frustrating season our three main forwards have been major players for the England team this year for Fabio Capello. "Everybody also knows of the calibre of young players we have got here and we have had to use a few of those guys this season when it wasn't on. "They were tight games and big games where we had to push some youngsters in. They will have benefitted from that so it's not all doom and gloom." McAllister also admitted: "I know from being a player that they don't like change. By the time we got here, there had been two managers and then we've had what's happened to Gerard Houllier (a heart proboem). "They have had four different people doing team talks to them this year and that's not been ideal. But again we don't want to look back and start looking for excuses. "It has been very frustrating and tough for the fans who are very unaccustomed to being in the bottom half and near the relegation zone. "But there was a nice push towards the end where we realised we were in trouble and the response we got from everybody here was fantastic. Now we want to finish on a high against Liverpool." McAllister played for Liverpool and is quick to recognise the impact made by Kenny Dalglish during his three months at the helm. He said: "Their resurgence is very much the Kenny Dalglish factor. He's adored by the people up there and rightly so. "You have got to admire the way Rog Hodgson dealt with losing his job at Liverpool and then coming back and doing so well for West Brom. "Kenny Dalglish has gone in there at Liverpool and there has been a change. There has been a change in the results. "They have got to be happy with that and Kenny has been rewarded by being given a contract. "He is a friend and, as a player and as a Scotsman, we all love Kenny Dalglish - but we want to beat them and I want to beat Kenny." McAllister has no fresh injury concerns and striker Darren Bent will be looking to take his goal tally with Villa into double figures since moving from Sunderland in January.