Alex McLeish expresses regret at letting Aston Villa fans down

 

Alex McLeish has expressed his regret at letting down the Aston Villa fans following his season of failure with the club.

McLeish was sacked on Monday by owner Randy Lerner after just 11 months in charge, overseeing a dismal campaign in which Villa came within two points of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Villa managed a club record low of four home wins, with their points tally of 38 their lowest for 42 years and their eventual 16th-place finish their worst in six seasons.

In being appointed manager after taking bitter cross-city rivals Birmingham down into the Championship last season, McLeish never truly won over the supporters.

The Scot's poor record only added fuel to the fire, with his sacking seemingly inevitable, albeit with McLeish naturally expressing his disappointment he did not do more.

McLeish said: "When I accepted the role as manager of Aston Villa Football Club I was acutely aware of the responsibility I had to find the best way to serve the great traditions of one of the finest clubs in professional football.

"I was truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to manage the club, which plays such an important part in the fabric of the local community and to its worldwide fan base.

"I relished the challenge and, together with my loyal and very capable staff, dedicated all of my efforts into moulding a successful team.

"My only regret in leaving now is we weren't able to achieve more for the supporters and their high expectations.

"Finally, I want to take this moment to say that I have nothing but the highest respect for the club and sincerely wish it and the fans great success in the future."

It leaves Lerner, along with chief executive Paul Faulkner, searching for his third manager in under two years, the American flying in yesterday to begin the quest in earnest.

Lerner spelt out earlier in the week that under McLeish Villa lacked "compelling play and results", with his desire now to appoint a man "who sees the club's potential and embraces our collective expectations".

However, his plans are likely to have been thrown off kilter by Liverpool's sacking yesterday of Kenny Dalglish.

Candidates on Villa's radar, such as Wigan's Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers at Swansea and Norwich's Paul Lambert, are almost certain to figure highly on Liverpool's list of prospective candidates.

In particular, Martinez spurned Villa's advances a year ago, and after his astonishing end to the season in keeping the Latics up, has been installed as one of the favourites for the vacancy at Anfield.

One man apparently not in Villa's thoughts is Mick McCarthy, dismissed by Wolves in mid-February after nearly six years in charge.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living