Gerard Houllier has revealed the "trust" he has in revitalised Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker.
Reo-Coker's days at Villa looked numbered under previous Villa boss Martin O'Neill after a much-publicised training ground bust-up early last season.
But the former England Under-21 captain was brought back into the side by Villa manager Houllier in his preferred central role and been one of their most impressive performers.
Now Reo-Coker is a strong candidate to skipper the side in the absence of the injured Stiliyan Petrov who is facing two to three weeks out of action with knee ligament damage. The ex-West Ham midfielder wore the armband against Blackburn in the last round of the Carling Cup when Petrov was rested.
Houllier said: "I am working on how far can we push the team playing the football we have been. Every manager has a philosophy and you need to know what you want from the players.
"For instance, some players in that situation reveal themselves. No-one could argue that Reo-Coker has changed and become a different player. I trust him, very much, and he is doing a good job for the team. The job he is doing, he seems to be blossoming from that."