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."