New Villa boss states his case

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Former Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has been officially unveiled as the new Aston Villa manager, and has told apprehensive fans: "I am the man for the job."

The appointment of the 52-year-old has caused quite a furore in Birmingham, after McLeish resigned from his post at St. Andrew's in order to take up the position vacated by Gerard Houllier at Villa Park.

Despite the protestations of thousands of Villa supporters in internet campaigns, the former Rangers manager was officially announced as Houllier's successor last Friday, and McLeish is ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

"I've got thick skin, I've managed Glasgow Rangers and got it in the neck up there," McLeish told the assembled press. "I got through that and I'll come through this."

In a direct message to Villa fans, McLeish added: "Let me prove myself and I will win you over.

"It is not a case of proving the fans wrong, I want to go forward with them and prove I am the man for this job,

"I can understand the passion and emotion of football and as long as it doesn't get out of control I can understand their feelings. Am I fazed by it? No. Have I had it before? Yes. I really look forward to the challenge.''


McLeish also admitted he would have no problem raiding his former club for their prized assets, with the ex-Scotland manager having already been linked with a move for Scott Dann.

"I know there are many good players there but the policy that I have always maintained is not to talk about other clubs' players,'' he explained.

"I'm getting bombarded - we are just going to access things at the moment. If I thought a (Birmingham) player could improve Aston Villa Football Club why not?''

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