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Houllier hamstrung by injuries

Wolves v Aston Villa
Image: Houllier: Delighted with effort

Gerard Houllier was delighted to take a point off Chelsea after seeing his pre-match plans decimated.

Villa boss pleased with a point after seeing plans rocked

Gerard Houllier was delighted to take a point off Chelsea after seeing his pre-match plans decimated. The Aston Villa boss felt his squad was in good shape heading into a home date with the Blues on Saturday, but saw late knocks hamper his preparations. In the end his makeshift side was able to secure a goalless draw with the reigning champions, proving they have the strength in depth to compete with the best in the business. Houllier was quick to praise the resilience of his side afterwards, even if he is now sweating on the fitness of his stricken stars ahead of next weekend's trip to Sunderland. "At the press conference yesterday I said that everybody was fine and had come back with no injuries," he said. "Then Emile (Heskey) did his back in training, Luke Young did his hamstring - which is hopefully not too serious - and then this morning Marc Albrighton had to say that he couldn't play because he didn't sleep all night. Then we lost, of course, Richard Dunne after 15 minutes.

Response

"The response of the players who filled in was great, they did so with a great attitude and spirit. I want to pay homage to them. "At the end you could see that some of the players were lacking in match fitness, but it's getting better." On Dunne's injury, which saw him forced off with an ankle problem and replaced by Ciaran Clark, Houllier added: "Richard needed four stitches in his ankle. He wanted to come back, but I said we couldn't wait for 10 minutes and play with 10 men, so I brought on Clark, who also did well." Houllier was happy with the overall showing put in by Villa during a tricky contest, especially during the second half when Chelsea raised their game in search of a winner. He added: "The only thing missing from a good game was goals. It was football played at a great pace between two good sides. "We had the better chances in the first half, but we were under the cosh in the second half before coming back at the end."

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