Belfast Telegraph

McLeish honest about boo-boys

Manager Alex McLeish has admitted life is not easy dealing with the Aston Villa boo-boys.

Once again McLeish was barracked by his own fans during Saturday's 0-0 draw at Wigan. Fans chanted "you don't know what you're doing" following the second-half introduction of Emile Heskey.

"Nobody likes it," he said. "I can't say it is water off a duck's back and I don't mind it. I understand the modern-day thinking but I am not going to get into a spat with my own supporters. I need those guys."

They also brought up McLeish's history as a former Birmingham manager and cried "we want our Villa back" as their team laboured in unconvincing manner.

And McLeish insists he is prepared for the battle he is facing.

"I have got a great challenge here," he said. "It is probably one of the toughest jobs in the Premier League but I am up for it. I am willing to take it on. I still believe we will prosper."

Problems are piling up though, with Darren Bent now facing an extended period on the sidelines following an ankle injury suffered on the same day loan star Robbie Keane made his final appearance before exiting to rejoin Major League Soccer. In addition, experienced defender Richard Dunne will possibly miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.

"At the moment it is a schedule of eight to 10 weeks," said McLeish. "Possibly the modern medicine can quicken it up a bit."

The frustration for Latics boss Roberto Martinez was obvious. His team remain at the foot of the Premier League, without a home win since August, and time is starting to run out, even if the Spaniard retains his normal optimism.

"Now results are a real priority," he said. "We can win games away from home but at the moment we can't rely on our home form. It would be a real advantage if we could rectify that."


From Belfast Telegraph