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Aston Villa fans 'will return season tickets' over Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish has been warned he will find it difficult to win over the Aston Villa fans should he eventually replace Gerard Houllier as manager.

Some sections of Villa supporters have made it clear McLeish would not be welcome after his spell in charge of local rivals Birmingham.

McLeish resigned on Sunday and has become the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Houllier at Villa Park.

Jonathan Fear, editor of the Vital Villa fans' website, told Press Association Sport: "I would fear for the atmosphere and attendances at Villa Park if Alex McLeish is appointed manager.

"I've got friends who are adamant they will return their season tickets if McLeish is appointed.

"He is a tough bloke but no matter how thick skinned you are, it will be a tough sell for him to win over the Villa fans.

"It is not just because he was Birmingham manager but because of his style of play.

"Even some Blues fans have said to me they didn't want to watch that type of football anymore."

Fear added: "This board at Villa have been very good and they want the right man for the job. They are honest, decent people running the club.

"But it will be difficult for McLeish to win over the fans even if Villa are winning.

"It is a slap in the face of Blues fans and has not pleased the Villa fans."

There has been speculation regarding McLeish's safety should he eventually move to Villa.

But Kevin Ball, editor of City fans' website Joys and Sorrows, said: "I don't this will be anything like the Neil Lennon situation (at Celtic).

"It is more likely he will be on the receiving end of gallows humour more than anything else.

"I just think McLeish will be mad if he takes on the Villa job.

"He won't have the patience and support he got at Blues. If he starts badly the Villa fans will have a 'McLeish out' banner made up within five minutes."

Ball added: "I think McLeish has treated the Birmingham fans and club with a total lack of respect. It reflects badly on him.

"But it is a great opportunity for us to make a fresh start and get a new manager and some new players in place and go again."