Gregory standing by star Collymore (Nov 24)
Villa manager John Gregory has vowed to stand by controversial striker Stan Collymore after his red card Saturday and challenge on Steve Harkness of Liverpool.

Collymore was booked for a bad tackle on Steve Harkness which left the player with knee ligament injuries, however he should only be out for around 2 weeks, and later yellow carded again for retaliation on Michael Owen.

He is also in trouble for his 'calm down' gestures to the Liverpool fans as he left the pitch.   Football Association spokesman Steve Double said: "Our concern is that Stan Collymore's actions could have incited trouble at the Liverpool end of the ground."

Gregory said however: "I have acknowledged he made a bad foul on Steve Harkness for his first booking. But I am also aware of the history between the two.

"I think he was harshly treated in the second incident with Michael Owen and would point out that Stan receives very little
protection from referees."

Gregory made a comment on Michael Owen after the game, saying 'he had a face like an angel but tackled like an assassin'.

Martin Sivorn © 1999.E-Mail Me