Aston Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister wants his team to confirm their status as the West Midlands’ top team with a win at West Brom.
Neighbours Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolves and Villa are playing together in the top flight for the first time in 27 years and McAllister wants his side to ensure bragging rights by finishing highest up the table.
Just eight points separate the three teams and Villa will have to be at their best in the four remaining games if they are to come out on top.
McAllister said: “There’s 12 points left to play for, we’re just sitting above West Brom at the moment and we want to finish on a high.”
“The next two games, we’ll look at them as a little group of a three again, starting off with a point against Stoke.”
“We want to emulate the previous three games where we got seven points, so that shows you the sort of targets we’re setting.”
Villa manager Gerard Houllier is set to be discharged from hospital on Friday after being admitted with heart problems last week. But McAllister said the Frenchman has only wanted to talk about football.
“Gerard has got the colour back in his cheeks and he has been buoyed by the results,” McAllister said.
“There is such a difference from the first few days visiting Gerard, when obviously he’d been whacked by quite a bit of trauma, to when you go into the hospital now.”
“He is asking lots of football questions. It’s only natural for him to be thinking what is going on at our training ground. This is where he works and has spent a lot of time.”
“His main concern is the mood in the camp, the performance and level of training.”
“That is something he wants to keep pushing through to the players, what you do here in the week does matter. That is just the way he is.”
“But it is still hard to see how well he is looking after seven or eight days. Obviously the players are concerned.”
“It is someone they work with every day and it is only natural. There has been a pulling together. I have felt that.”
Aston Villa have no reported injury problems.
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