Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish vows to 'get it right' ahead of planned protest


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The Independent Football

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has come out fighting ahead of a proposed fans' protest before Sunday's home game with Manchester City and insisted: "I'll get it right at this club."

The 'Vital Villa' fans' website posted a message earlier this week calling on supporters to voice their feelings an hour before the meeting with the current Barclays Premier League leaders.

But McLeish has thanked the majority of fans for their backing of his players in what he admits was always going to be a season of transition with Villa hovering around midtable.

McLeish said: "I know there were a few Villa fans at the start of the season expressed dissent at me becoming a manager.

"That is out of my control but I know the silent majority of Villa fans have been absolutely tremendous in supporting the team home and away.

"I've met some of the fans and I really felt their passion but I think they felt mine as well - and I'm determined I'll get it right at this club.

"I do believe in one or two other seasons there have been sticky moments as well.

"This season is a bit of a rollercoaster but the points are there for us to climb the table."

As regards the intended protest, McLeish said: "It is out of my control, it is a modern day fashion.

"There were rumours of a protest against Arsene Wenger a couple of weeks ago so I'm in pretty good company!

"At the same time, it's not something I'm going to say I enjoy because we all like to be popular.

"It's a minority and something out of my control. But the one thing I can control is the team and what effort they put in to get the best out of them because I am pretty good at that."

Striker Robbie Keane will make his final home appearance on loan to Villa and McLeish admits he would the chance to link up again with the Los Angeles Galaxy player in the future.

When asked if there was a possibility of Keane returning next season, McLeish said: "I don't know. I am probably best to say you never know and maybe leave that one dangling.

"Would I get Keane back if there was a chance? I would like to have a crack, yes.

"He has been enlightening in terms of his performances. They have been great but he has been a great character around the place and has livened things up a bit.

"I hope he leaves his print within the club as regards the young players and seeing how he goes about his training."

McLeish worked with City keeper Joe Hart when Birmingham manager two years ago during a season-long loan and believes he has the ingredients to be a potential future England captain.

He said: "There are good examples of other keepers being captains. Dino Zoff lifted the World Cup, Sepp Maier was captain for a long time of Germany, and Shay Given is captain of the Irish team.

"Joe could be the next goalkeeping captain although personally I prefer to have an outfield player.

"I don't know how the next England manager will see it but certainly Hart can see everything in front of him, the whole picture, but it is difficult to get messages to everybody when you are a keeper."