Houllier responds to Bruce attack

Last updated : 21 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has accused his Sunderland counterpart Steve Bruce of being "not too gracious" over Darren Bent's transfer.Houllier was responding to Bruce's attack on him over the way he acted during the sale of striker Bent to Villa for a club record £18m.

He defended his stance of making no contact with Bruce while the transfer was being conducted.

Houllier is adamant Villa acted in a proper manner throughout the process.

The Frenchman said: "I like Steve Bruce. I think he is a good manager. He is doing a good job. I think he was not too gracious to me but that's life. It is not going to prevent me from sleeping, I can tell you that.

"If we had done something wrong, I would say 'hands up' but we have behaved in a very proper way.

Villa sign Bent from Sunderland, Sunderland sign Fuller from Stoke, Stoke loan Carew from Villa


"If I call Steve and say I want his player he will go vocal and go public and it will be even worse. He is working for the interests of Sunderland. I am working for the interests of Aston Villa.

"You contact a manager when you want a player on loan sometimes. A lot of fellow managers call me if they want loans.

"This is the life of football. It makes me laugh more than anything else. Am I bothered about what he said? I prefer not to answer that question."

Bruce had complained about the lack of warning Houllier provided over the intended purchase of Bent.

The 26-year-old signed for Villa on Tuesday, just two days after handing in a transfer request.

"I'd have liked even a phone call from Mr Houllier, for whom I had the utmost respect," said Bruce.

"I would have thought that, out of respect, maybe he would have picked up the telephone to say, 'We are interested in buying your striker'."

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport