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Frenchman reveals squad are still united

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is adamant that he has not lost control of the dressing room, after reports emerged suggesting there had been infighting.

The former Liverpool boss has not had the smoothest ride in the Villa hotseat so far, with events on and off the pitch increasing the pressure around the Frenchman at the moment.

The 2-1 victory over local rivals West Brom on Saturday gave the Villa boss some welcome relief, but it seems that there are still some issues surrounding the club.

It is believed midfielder Stephen Ireland is wanting showdown talks with Houllier after being frozen out of the team, while defender James Collins has been warned over breaking a curfew.

Striker John Carew has already clashed with Houllier over comments made to the press, and it was also claimed that defender Richard Dunne was involved in a heated argument with Villa’s assistant boss Gary McAllister, which has caused more friction among the team.

However, Houllier has moved to dismiss these reports and has stated that the squad remain united at Villa Park.

"I can control the players. If we hadn't lost 3-0 at Liverpool, none of this would be talked about," he said.

"No-one would be talking about the manager, who did what and players being seen late at night.

"A manager always thinks the players are behind him. I know players not playing are not happy but it's important they are united for the club and for the fans."

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