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Dunne and Collins set for Villa return

Gerard Houllier looks set to recall James Collins and Richard Dunne for Aston Villa’s Premier League game with Everton this Saturday.

The pair were fined the maximum of two weeks’ wages for their part in a drink-fuelled altercation with members of Villa’s coaching staff during a team bonding session at a health spa in mid-March.

However, with Villa currently involved in a relegation battle Houllier has told reporters that the incident has been put to one side with Dunne and Collins expected to return to first-team action after overcoming recent injury problems.

‘The only thing I can say is that the events [involving Dunne and Collins] are finished. It has been dealt with, it is gone and over,’ Houllier said. ‘The players expressed their will to the club and to myself that they want to give their best for their fans and the club. It is good.’

The Frenchman continued: ‘They were unfortunately both injured for the last game against Wolves but they are available after playing for Ireland and Wales. If they are fit, they will play. It is as simple as that because they are personality players and they have the club at heart. They have also strong experience.’

Houllier has booed by home fans during Villa’s recent 1-0 defeat to Wolves with a banner at the Holte End telling him to leave the club. But the former Liverpool manager urged fans to get behind the team for the last eight games of the season.

‘Everyone is entitled to think what they want but I took the job because it was a challenge,’ Houllier added. ‘The challenge is bigger now because of what happened but sometimes you battle to get in Europe or a cup.’

‘Here we are battling adversity together. Together, that means the team, the staff, management, the owner, chief executive, the fans, everybody. The fans play an important part. When the fans show the banner, you are not very happy about that.’

‘But I came here because I've got pride in being at this club. I said that straightaway and that hasn't changed. I've got pleasure in what I'm doing. It's not because things are not particularly easy.

‘Sometimes you go through hard times at this job. Also I've got a challenge, and the challenge is eight games and, also, the unity is there.’

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