Houllier hails improving Clark
Gerard Houllier has hailed Ciaran Clark after the youngster netted twice in the defeat to Arsenal.
Last Updated: 28/11/10 3:02pm
Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has sung the praises of Ciaran Clark after the youngster netted twice in the defeat to Arsenal.
After going into the interval two down, Clark twice brought Villa to within a goal of the Gunners before Jack Wilshere's stoppage-time header secured the points for Arsene Wenger's men.
The brace was the 21-year-old's first-ever senior goals for the club and Houllier is looking for the defender-turned-midfielder to push on.
The French boss said: "Ciaran can play centre-back, as he did against Blackburn last week, but I think, because he has footballing qualities, he can help as a defensive midfielder.
"We played him there because we are practically depleted in midfield.
"Ciaran is doing that very well at the moment and he can also score goals.
"He almost did against Chelsea, when he hit the post. He is developing. He is coming up well."
The defeat was Villa's first league loss at home this term and leaves Houllier's side just three points above the drop zone.
But Houllier believes injuries and illness are not helping his team and remains adamant Villa will get back on track.
He added: "Not having a full squad to choose from is part of the territory but we have been particularly hit, not only by injuries but also by sickness.
"Practically every game we have to cope with people being sick or unfit.
"It is important to have some players back and we need a bit of patience, and to grind some results in between, but we will make it."