Gerard Houllier believes Aston Villa will reap the benefits of Emile Heskey's decision to quit international football with England.
And new Villa boss Houllier is backing the often maligned Heskey, who stepped down in the aftermath of the World Cup, to play a major role for the midlands club.
Heskey impressed as a substitute during the mid-week Carling Cup win over Blackburn, scoring once and setting up two goals for Ashley Young in a 3-1 success.
He was often used as a substitute under Martin O'Neill but could come into contention to start Sunday's derby encounter at Wolves.
Houllier said: "He decided to stop his international career so now it means he can repeat games for us. The whole England team suffered (received criticism) for what happened in South Africa.
"But, if you remember the game against Germany, and I was at it, if the goal from Lampard had been allowed it would have been 2-2 at half-time. Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don't, but whatever you say about Emile he is a good man and a good player."