Belfast Telegraph

McLeish reveals Lerner pep talk

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has delivered a rallying cry to the club's players and urged them to stay "in charge of their own destiny" in their bid to avoid relegation.

Villa are only five points clear of the Barclays Premier League bottom three ahead of Saturday's clash at Liverpool, and they have also had to contend with a lengthy injury list and skipper Stiliyan Petrov's diagnosis with acute leukaemia.

Villa manager Alex McLeish said: "Randy went to see Stiliyan on Monday and the following day came up and spoke to the lads. He told them to have the confidence and belief in themselves and for the youngsters to really make a go of it."

Speaking about Petrov, McLeish said Lerner told the players "we were all standing toe to toe to support him".

He went on: "But he also told the players to be strong themselves and be in charge of their own destiny for the remaining eight games."

Villa were missing eight senior players for last weekend's defeat by Chelsea but McLeish has faith in the youngsters he is having to play.

He said: "At the end of the day, if you are good enough, you are old enough and it doesn't matter about age."

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