Football: Houllier adds his apology

THE LIVERPOOL manager, Gerard Houllier, last night added his apology to that of Robbie Fowler as the Anfield club sought to limit the damage caused by the striker's controversial goal celebration in last Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Houllier, who had initially dismissed Fowler's actions as a joke with its origins on the training pitch, admitted he had made a mistake in doing so. He had suggested at first that Fowler was mimicking the routine in which defender Rigobert Song would take part with team-mates at Metz, but now was willing to stand corrected.

"Having seen the incident on television and listened to what others have said I accept that I was mistaken in my initial interpretation," Houllier said. "What Robbie did was not the right way to celebrate a goal. I have spoken to him and made it clear that I do not want to see that sort of thing again."

Houllier continued to voice his support for Fowler yesterday, despite joining the condemnation of his behaviour. "He was getting a lot of abuse from the Everton fans but he has admitted he did the wrong thing and has apologised for it.

"Maybe you could say he is a similar case to Eric Cantona with his record of behaviour. Cantona had a lot of problems in France before he came here but he eventually proved that he could be very successful."