Aston Villa midfielder Robert Pires has rejected talk of a mutiny at the club and insisted the team management were right to impose "strict" rules on player conduct.
Reports have surfaced of player discontent at Villa, with defensive duo Richard Dunne and James Collins fined two weeks' wages for their behaviour towards members of the coaching staff during a team bonding session at a health spa three weeks ago.
Former Arsenal star Pires, who was brought to Villa by Houllier on a free transfer in November, told the Daily Telegraph: "Mutiny? No! Like a mutiny on a boat? No! My feeling is we are all very united. What happens outside the dressing room with journalists and agents, I understand it but it's not very good for the team. But the dressing room is strong."
Part of the apparent dissatisfaction has reportedly centred around new rules introduced by manager Gerard Houllier surrounding the use of mobile phones at training and turning up for club meals on time.
On the club's guidelines on player conduct, Pires added: "We needed the rules. It's important. You don't play with a mobile phone, so why have one at training?
"When you arrive at the training ground, you need to disconnect and focus on training. That's normal.
"Being at mealtime on time is simple but important for the team. You need the discipline.
"Every top club is like that. With Arsenal and Villarreal it was the same. Strict. Look at Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho. Strict. Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson. Strict."
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