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Houllier unfazed by Bruce criticism

Gerard Houllier is ‘not bothered’ by what Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has to say about Aston Villa’s capture of striker Darren Bent.

Bent is set to make his debut at home to Manchester City on Saturday and Houllier insisted he had gone about the transfer the right way, despite Bruce saying otherwise on Thursday.

Houllier said: “I like Steve Bruce. I think he is a good manager. He is doing a good job. He is working for the interests of Sunderland. I am working for the interests of Aston Villa.”

“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.”

“If I call Steve and say ‘I want his player’ he will go vocal and go public and it will be even worse. 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.”

Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League table and the Frenchman thinks they have really found their stride in recent weeks.

He said: “It looks as if they are clicking now and scoring goals, getting results and competing for the title which is a huge step from last year.”

“I think Roberto Mancini is doing a great job there. I know him. We are good friends – he is a good manager, very successful.”

“He kept his head high and straight when he was under pressure.”

Bent is in line to make his debut while fellow new signing Jean Makoun will miss out as he is yet to receive an international clearance.

Ashley Young is available after suspension.

Article title: Houllier unfazed by Bruce criticism

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