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Premier League

Gerard Houllier rules out swoop for Michael Owen

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has ruled out the possibility of trying to sign Manchester United striker Michael Owen in January.

Houllier was previously in charge of Owen during his successful spell at Liverpool.

But the Frenchman confirmed he will not attempt to be reunited with the former England player during the next transfer window.

Houllier expects to have Emile Heskey and John Carew available after injury lay-offs within the next month.

Gabriel Agbonlahor has already returned to action after six weeks on the sidelines following groin surgery.

When asked if he would try to sign Owen in January, Houllier said: "No, no. In terms of some strikers Emile and John will come back.

"There is no point."

But Houllier did confirm: "We definitely need to sign one or two players in January."

Meanwhile, Houllier has called for patience in giving his crop of exciting young players, such as Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan, time to develop.

He said: "The only thing with young players is you need sometimes to be patient and sometimes to be indulgent.

"I think at some stage one of them will have a very poor game but you must not judge on one game. It's a whole picture thing.

"That's what I said to young Bannan because he was distraught after the game against Burnley in the Carling Cup.

"I said 'hang on, you're not in the team because of one game.' He thought it was a make-or-break game.

"I said 'no, it's a whole thing, you will miss games, you will have better games'. "Sometimes they are a little bit impatient."