• McAllister predicts cracking Liverpool finale with "lots to play for"
  • Reo-Coker targeting another "benchmark" display against Reds
  • Players gear up for big finale against Liverpool
  • Young wants fab finish this season and classy campaign next term
  • Liverpool [H] May 22 [16.00 GMT]
  • Liverpool [H] May 22 [16.00 GMT]

McAllister predicts cracking Liverpool finale with "lots to play for"


By Dan Harrison

Gary McAllister insists there is no chance of a "testimonial feel" to Sunday's season finale against Liverpool with the Reds eyeing fifth spot and Villa determined to end on a high.

Villa's assistant manager says his squad have been "bouncing" after last weekend's magnificent 2-1 win at Arsenal - and now they are eager to follow up that result in front of the home fans.

And with Kenny Dalglish's team requiring three points to pip Tottenham in to fifth place, McAllister has dismissed suggestions that the Villa Park encounter is a dead rubber.

"The facts are people might look at and there might be a testimonial feel about it," he said. "But Liverpool have got a lot to play for - they are still searching to get in to that fifth spot - and we are the same.

"We can't rest on our laurels. It was a good performance and a good result last week but we want to finish well in front of our home crowd. We want to finish on a high."

The claret and blue troops were handed a couple of days off following off following their Emirates heroics but McAllister admits the feel-good vibe still exists.

"I've really enjoyed this week," he added. "I think the players have bounced back off a very good performance. I gave the players a couple of days off and they have come back in very fresh.

"I think there is wee feeling we would like the season to have gone on another five or six weeks and then maybe we could have pushed on even further.

"But in recent weeks, apart from that little poor result at the Hawthorns where we went down to West Brom, things have been pretty decent."

It has come as no surprise to McAllister that the King Kenny factor is working wonders at his former club.

The return of fellow Scotsman Dalglish to the Anfield dugout has coincided with a surge up the table for Liverpool.

But McAllister reckons the Reds' home defeat to Spurs last weekend will give Villa plenty of food for thought.

"Knowing the man I know the impact he has up there and when he becomes manager, one thing is for sure, everyone is happier," added the Villa no.2.

"He makes people come together because of his status in and around that football club.

"But I was a bit surprised with the result last week so we can take something from that. Tottenham went there and beat Liverpool.

"So, as much as they have been in fine form recently, I am sure Kenny will be looking for a reaction from his players after losing at home to Spurs.

"We are bouncing off the back of a good result as well so it is all pointing to a good game."

Watch Gary McAllister's press conference in full on AVTV now - click here.

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