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Villain: McLeish confirmed as new boss

Fans of both Birmingham and Aston Villa won’t be happy with this morning’s decision from Randy Lerner.

Alex McLeish: new Villa boss.
Alex McLeish: new Villa boss.
Image: PA

ASTON VILLA HAVE confirmed the controversial appointment of former Birmingham boss Alex McLeish as their new manager.

McLeish makes the move across the city just five days after resigning from his post at St Andrew’s.

Villa have pressed ahead with the appointment of the 52-year-old despite a backlash from supporters and a row with Blues.

Yesterday, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson expects McLeish to win over his new club’s sceptical fans. The 70-year-old said: “At the end of the day what will count is this – can he do the job for Villa?

“It doesn’t matter whether there are 50 against him, 500 against him or five against him because the experience and the ability he has got, believe me, he will prove that he can do the job.

“I’ve known him for a long time and I know his abilities. I know how conscientious he is. I know the determination and work ethic he’s always had to make sure he does the job right.”

Fans’ ire culminated with a protest at Villa Park on Wednesday evening but that depth of ill-feeling has not deterred club owner Randy Lerner from pursuing McLeish.

Villa were also not put off by a war of words with Birmingham, who claimed McLeish was tapped up and threatened to take out an injunction to block his appointment.

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