Stewart Downing admits it's a relief to join up with England after Aston Villa woes

24 March 2011 08:36
Stewart Downing believes the international break has come at the right time for trouble-torn Aston Villa.

Villa are only one point above the bottom three in the Barclays Premier League after the 1-0 home reversal against Wolves on Saturday.

Saved by the bell: Downing (right) admits it's a relief to join up with England on international duty

Supporters called for manager Gerard Houllier to be sacked at the end of a week which saw James Collins and Richard Dunne fined for their behaviour during a team bonding session at a health spa.

But Downing, Ashley Young, Darren Bent and Kyle Walker will put those problems to one side as they look to help England overcome Wales in Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff, when the quartet will be looking to get the better of club mate Collins.

Downing said: 'It does help to have a break from the relegation worries. 'You are part of a different environment with a different kind of pressure.

'If you do well, it can help bring confidence for when you go back to the club. 'We can regroup at Villa and get some players back from injury and suspension so it (the break) has probably come at a good time.

Under fire: But Villa insist Houllier's job is safe

'Then we can get focused and go again because we missed some of those players not involved against Wolves.'

Downing is looking to get one over on Collins, who is hoping to have recovered from the calf injury which has kept him out of recent Villa matches.

He said: 'It will be a tough game for us because they have got some good players. 'Obviously James Collins is in the Wales squad so there will be a bit of rivalry there.

'I'm sure there will be a few texts flying around this week about what is going to happen. 'It is enjoyable to play against your mates and wind them up if you can get one over on them.'

 Gerard Houllier rewrites the rules: Aston Villa stars rebel over new code of conductWenger tells Premier League to bring in simultaneous kick-offs for run-inPlayer power has taken over the game, says former Aston Villa boss O'NeillAston Villa FC news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Darren Bent, Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Richard Dunne, Gerard Houllier Places: Cardiff, United Kingdom, Wales

Source: Daily_Mail