Barry Bannan thankful to Gerard Houllier

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Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan has thanked manager Gerard Houllier for turning around his fortunes in recent times.

The 20-year-old has become a regular starter for Villa in the past few weeks and also made his Scotland debut against the Faroe Islands on Tuesday, having been unable to make an impact under previous Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

Bannan told the Daily Record:"Martin had size issues with me and he kept bringing them up in conversation over the many meetings we had when he was at Villa.

"I'd been at the club since I was 14. My parents had left Lanarkshire and moved to the Midlands to look after me while I tried to become a success. But Martin left me disheartened when what I really needed was his trust.

"The only thing that kept me going during that period of rejection was when I said to myself, 'someday somebody will show confidence in you'.

"I knew I couldn't afford to be totally disheartened, because then my confidence levels would have dropped and my game would have gone to pieces along with them.

"Gerard likes a passing game for Villa, so now I've gone from the stage where I was on loan to Blackpool and playing every now and then, to the point where I've been first pick for Villa for the last three matches in the Premier League.

"All of that's been based on what the manager saw of me in training each day. I'm grateful to say he's taken to me and I've experienced a total change of fortune since Gerard arrived at the club."

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