Stephen Warnock insists the Aston Villa players - and not manager Alex McLeish - must shoulder the blame for the club's slide towards the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

Villa are only three points above the bottom three after being beaten 2-1 at home by fellow strugglers Bolton on Tuesday night. Supporters called for McLeish to be sacked during the later stages of the game but Warnock believes it is unfair for the Scot to shoulder the blame.

Warnock said: "It's a natural reaction in football. The fans come, they pay their money, they are entitled to their opinion... The manager gets the brunt of the stick but it's down to his players on the pitch. If they don't perform or make errors, it's nothing to do with the manager."

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