Australian midfielder Chris Herd criticised by Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish for nightclub incident

The Australian prospect was one of three Villa players sanctioned for an incident after the English Premier League club's end-of-season awards

Australian midfielder Chris Herd has been among the players criticised by Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish after he was involved in a dispute outside a nightclub with team-mates on Tuesday.

Herd, James Collins and Fabian Delph were disciplined by the English Premier League club for their part in the incident, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday after Villa's end-of-season awards ceremony.

An official club statement from Villa confirmed the altercation: "The club dealt with this matter internally on Tuesday and the players in question have been disciplined.

"The fines are being split between two charities the club are promoting at the game against Spurs on Sunday - Cure Leukaemia and Anthony Nolan.

"Our players attended the club's end-of-season dinner on Monday night and training on Tuesday was limited to players who did not start in Saturday's Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion and those not carrying injuries.

"As a club, the players, management and fans are completely focused on Sunday's game against Spurs at Villa Park."

The trio's actions incurred the wrath of manager McLeish: "It's a slur on the club. I feel for [club owner] Randy Lerner and the fans of Aston Villa Football Club but the players need to show some respect for themselves and the football club," he told Sky Sports.

"We knew about it on Tuesday and some players broke the rules so we acted very swiftly on Tuesday. We're very disappointed.

"We won't tolerate that kind of behaviour."

All three players have since publicly apologised for their part in the fracas, with 23-year-old Herd accepting responsibility in a statement.

"I would like to apologise for what happened on Monday night and I apologise for being out at that time," Herd said.

"My actions on the night were out of character.

"Even if I felt at the time that the prior situation inside the nightclub had not been dealt with properly, it was no one's intention to be involved in any trouble. In fact, we were accompanied by our girlfriends and wives.

"But I should not have acted in the manner in which I did. I'll do everything I can to make it up to the club and the fans, as they have both been fantastic since I've joined the team.

"My immediate aim is to help the team to finish the season strongly and to secure our position in the Premier League."

It is another unwanted problem for Villa, who are still battling against relegation with two matches to go in the Premier League season.

Western Australian-born Herd has become a regular in midfield for the Birmingham club since making his Premier League debut in 2010.

He signed a deal in December that will keep him at Villa until 2015 and was part of the Socceroos squad to face Thailand and Oman last year before injury halted his hopes of an international debut.

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