Houllier and Carew call a truce

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The Independent Online

Gerard Houllier insists outspoken Aston Villa striker John Carew has not played his last game for the midlands club.

Houllier and Carew were involved in a public spat before and after the weekend clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.



Carew claimed in an interview in his native Norway that comments attributed to Houllier were "disrespectful" in asking him to prove he deserved a new contract.



The Villa boss responded by accusing Carew of "being stupid" and "living in the past."



But Houllier is adamant today his views on Carew were taken out of context and he assembled the whole squad at Bodymoor Heath to make that clear.



Houllier said: "We had a meeting with the whole team to clarify things.



"There was a discrepancy between my words which were full of praise for John Carew, and what was put up in the Norwegian press.



"John realised that, and that had to be clarified in front of everybody.



"The matter is over. I don't want to talk about it anymore."



Carew is currently side-lined with a torn calf and will be side-lined for three to four weeks.



But Houllier, when asked if Carew would play for Villa again, said: "He is a player for Aston Villa and when he is fit, he will be in contention for playing."



Villa have collected only three points from the last five games but Houllier believes their performances have deserved a greater tangible reward.



They led at Fulham on Saturday before being denied by an injury-time equaliser.



Houllier said: "It is just a shame because when you consider we only have one point from the Tottenham, Sunderland and Fulham games.



"Maybe, I would say, a minimum of four or five points would have been more reflecting of the reality of the game.



"Sometimes in the league you have to go through those things. Maybe there are some games we will win without not totally deserving it."



Houllier admitted: "We need to be less wasteful as we were because a couple of times we had the result and we let it go. That will come.



"We need to be more clinical first of all when we have got the chances.



"Sometimes it is good to know you can create chances but being more clinical when you get them would help.



"That is the main point really but we have to keep our football, keep our belief in what we are doing.



"I knew that sometimes it would be frustrating because the result won't follow the quality of our game.



"But, at the end of the day, you are always saved by the quality of your game." Houllier is full of admiration for Blackpool and manager Ian Holloway after their encouraging start to life in the Premier League.



He said: "I have seen some of their games on TV and DVD and I must praise their manager.



"It is a very entertaining team that play with attacking spirit.



"It is refreshing for football. It is a good side and it will be a good and exciting game tomorrow."

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