Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has defended the club's policy of requesting players live within a 30-mile radius to the training ground.

Any new contracts or contracts extensions will have inserted a clause the player must adhere to.

Former manager Gerard Houllier tried the idea, with limited success, but McLeish is hoping the new policy catches on.

“We want them within an hour of the training ground,” he said. “For me it’s a no-brainer because if you’re going to travel over an hour to two hours in the morning in heavy traffic, that’s stressful.

“It’s better to just get out of your bed, travel 20 minutes to the training ground and Bob’s your uncle. There are logistical issues that are going to take time and we still don’t have everybody in the system as yet.

“I’ve not said they have got to do it overnight but I want them to be thinking about getting it done.”


The Scot introduced the rule while at Birmingham City and Rangers and admits it take time to be fully integrated.

“When you’ve got different rules before it makes it much more difficult to change them," he added.

“But most of the guys are now in with the thinking.

“With Luke Young it was a difficult because of his family situation.

“Last season he wasn’t in the plans and he moved his family back to London, now to tell him to move his family back again, I could understand the problems with that.

“It will take time to get it fully integrated.”

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