McLeish asks for ‘controlled aggression’


Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has stressed the importance for his players to control their aggression.


This comes after two of Villa’s contrasting performances in the loss at Spurs and then draw at Swansea over the weekend.


McLeish was disappointed that his side have been unable to get their aggression levels right, with them picking up four bookings against the Swans.


"I was a wee bit disappointed with the bookings that we got,” he told Villa’s official website.


“We were a wee bit rash at times. We needed to keep our heads. We were too rash."


McLeish saw a contrast when his players appeared to show Tottenham far too much respect, slipping to a 2-0 deficit in the first-half.


The former Rangers manager admitted he asked for more from his players at the Liberty Stadium, though they took it a bit further than asked.


“There's nothing wrong with adhering to the team talk which from me was asking for real aggression - but I did call for controlled aggression. There's a difference,” he added.


"I didn't want them to be reckless. I told them to be careful. I said 'let's not get early cards because you put yourself under pressure for the rest of the game'.


"It's about reading the game a wee bit and not getting drawn into heavy tackles,” concluded McLeish.


"However, I didn't think every booking merited a yellow card but it was disappointing to see a couple of players getting yellow cards early in the match.


"When that happens you're playing the rest of the match walking or running on eggshells."


McLeish’s players will have to be at their most controlled in the club’s next fixture, when they welcome Manchester United to Villa Park on Saturday evening.

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