McLeish hailed after meeting Aston Villa fans
New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has been praised for "fronting up" to a section of the club's supporters.
McLeish has come under fire from some sections of fans unhappy at him being appointed because of his previous spell in charge of local rivals Birmingham.
But the Scot is determined to try and tackle the issue head-on and he invited half a dozen prominent Villa followers to meet with him at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground yesterday.
McLeish outlined his plans and listened to any issues the group wanted to put to him in a meeting lasting more than an hour.
Jonathan Fear, editor of the Vital Villa fans' website, said: "Alex McLeish wanted to be open and honest and hear off people potentially against him.
"He wanted to see if he could get a chance to show what he can do and it was a good, positive, open meeting.
"Some people might look at this as a cynical PR exercise but Alex McLeish wanted to meet some of the fans and put his points across and listen to what people had to say.
"I don't think anyone walked out afterwards with long faces. He asked for the meeting and he is going to ask for more fans' forums.
"We all asked everything we felt was relevant and he answered it and wanted to be open and honest."
Fear believes McLeish, who resigned as Birmingham boss 11 days ago, deserves credit for facing up to supporters.
He said: "Alex could have hidden away and it would have been easier not to front up to things - as some previous managers have done.
"I was impressed with what he said at his press conference when confirmed as manager.
"People I've spoken to who know him said he is a straightforward, decent guy who deserves a chance."
Fear believes it is time for everyone to pull in the right direction at Villa.
He said: "The whole club needs it. Everyone has had their opinions and now everyone should support the club.
"Let everyone give the manager the chance to show what he can do. He deserves that."
Latest in Sport
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on sack as Liverpool manager prepares to meet bosses in next 36 hours
Fifa corruption: Sepp Blatter's right-hand man Jerome Valcke 'sent' $10m payment to Jack Warner in letter from the South African FA
Sepp Blatter resigns: Under-pressure Fifa president quits amid corruption scandal
Next Liverpool manager: Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp among favourites to succeed Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers