Aston Villa are set to unveil new manager Alex McLeish on Monday and first team coach Gordon Cowans is looking forward to working with the former Birmingham boss.

McLeish angered the fans of his new club and his former employers by making the cross-city switch from St Andrew's to Villa Park. Villa fans protested and Birmingham's hierarchy threatened legal action and a complaint to the Premier League over the move but Cowans is looking forward to working for the former Scotland and Rangers manager.

Cowans told the club website, www.avfc.co.uk: "I've spoken to Alex - that was one of the first things he did when he came to the training ground at Bodymoor on his first day at the club - and I'm looking forward to working with him."

He added: "I know the kind of man he is and I know what he's about.

"He's a good man and he's a good manager and the players will all be looking forward to working with him, as I know he is about working with them.

"I know that everyone at the club will give him their full support because he's a man who commands that level of respect.

"I also know that supporters will get behind him, too, because the Villa fans want what's best for the club."

Cowans admitted he was sad to see former boss Gerard Houllier leave the club after he suffered heart problems.

Cowans added: "It's unfortunate what happened with Gerard towards the end of last season and the most important thing for him is that he makes a full recovery as quickly as he can.

"We all wish him well. But we're all excited now about moving forward under Alex."

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