Midfielder Steve Sidwell is Aston Villa's latest injury casualty ahead of the home Barclays Premier League clash with Blackpool.

The former Chelsea player is to undergo surgery on his troublesome Achilles after initially delaying an operation to help Villa through their current injury crisis.

Gerard Houllier is already without injured midfielders Nigel Reo-Coker (knee) and skipper Stiliyan Petrov (knee).

Striker John Carew, who has resolved his public spat with Houllier, is still out of action with his calf problem along with Emile Heskey.

Villa have collected only three points from the last five games but Houllier believes their performances have deserved a greater tangible reward.

They led at Fulham on Saturday before being denied by an injury-time equaliser.

Houllier said: "It is just a shame because when you consider we only have one point from the Tottenham, Sunderland and Fulham games.

"Maybe, I would say, a minimum of four or five points would have been more reflecting of the reality of the game.

"Sometimes in the league you have to go through those things. Maybe there are some games we will win without not totally deserving it."

Houllier admitted: "We need to be less wasteful as we were because a couple of times we had the result and we let it go. That will come.

"We need to be more clinical first of all when we have got the chances.

"Sometimes it is good to know you can create chances but being more clinical when you get them would help.

"That is the main point really but we have to keep our football, keep our belief in what we are doing.

"I knew that sometimes it would be frustrating because the result won't follow the quality of our game.

"But, at the end of the day, you are always saved by the quality of your game." Houllier is full of admiration for Blackpool and manager Ian Holloway after their encouraging start to life in the Premier League.

He said: "I have seen some of their games on TV and DVD and I must praise their manager.

"It is a very entertaining team that play with attacking spirit.

"It is refreshing for football. It is a good side and it will be a good and exciting game."

Blackpool will be without defender Craig Cathcart.

Cathcart has a sore knee and is undergoing a scan to establish the extent of the problem.

Otherwise Seasiders boss Ian Holloway should be able to choose from the same squad as he did for Saturday's 2-2 draw with Everton.

Blackpool will be without defender Craig Cathcart.

Cathcart has a sore knee and is undergoing a scan to establish the extent of the problem.

Otherwise Seasiders boss Ian Holloway should be able to choose from the same squad as he did for Saturday's 2-2 draw with Everton.

Blackpool travel to Villa Park knowing they might have been even higher than their current mid-table position had Marlon Harewood's late effort against the Toffees not been disallowed for an apparent push.

Refereeing decisions have come to the fore in the last few days after Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who on Saturday saw his side denied a penalty in a 2-0 defeat at Sunderland when Lee Cattermole appeared to handle Kenwyne Jones' header on the line, called for the introduction of a system where clubs get to grade referees, with those receiving the worst marks `relegated'.

Pulis has also voiced his support for the use of goal-line technology and Holloway thinks it is "common sense" that such changes are brought in.

"We just all want it to be right - how must Stoke City fans feel?" Holloway said.

"All you're hoping at the moment is that all these wrongs balance out, but what if they don't?

"I'm just saying use common sense, use the technology and I think it would solve itself.

"The public don't want to hear us rant and rave. They are sick and fed up of hearing me talk about referees - what do I know?

"All I do know is that the people at the top of the game are not running it right. I want them to understand that it is so stupid what is happening.

"Human beings are making errors and we are judging them with machinery, but we won't let them use that machinery to make the right decisions.

"You've got to be a fool not to do that, so why don't we do it now?"

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Aston Villa
#Blackpool
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