Gerard Houllier believes Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker can play a major part in his longer term plans.

Houllier is planning to hold talks with Reo-Coker, who is out of contract in the summer, over his future at the end of April.

The Frenchman said: "We have said regarding players at the end of their contract, that we would review the situation at the end of April. But Nigel has been involved in every game. First of all, whether he plays or is on the bench, he's a good member of the squad, a good team-mate."

He added: "He's very happy, very positive. He's a fighter. We have a lot of midfielders but he has been very consistent for us.

"Would I like Nigel to stay? If the opportunity comes, but everything depends on the next seven games.

"The future is seven games for the moment. Let's go over that hurdle and then we will see.

"First of all we need to be secure and then we will see.

"But I have shown him he is part of the plans. I like him, because he's a good trainer as well. I think he has improved a bit.

"In the dressing room, he is important. He's a committed player. He's got a desire.

"I think Nigel has played a great part in our season and I'm pleased with him. He's a very popular figure amongst the players."

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Topics:
Football
Nigel Reo-Coker
Premier League
Aston Villa