Protests and pints sour the mood as McLeish battles for Villa's destiny

 

A planned protest outside Villa Park by disgruntled fans over Alex McLeish's management of Aston Villa and the continuing fall-out from the nightclub fracas involving three Villa players have given an extra edge to this afternoon's vital match against Tottenham in Villa's relegation battle.

"Everybody understands the frustrations," the defender Richard Dunne told the Birmingham Mail after it ran a half-page ad placed by fans calling for McLeish's head, "they're not happy with us as players and the management and the club as a whole. But we need the supporters because they want to watch Premier League football next season. The best thing they can do is support us and whatever happens, happens."

McLeish must decide whether to select James Collins, Chris Herd and Fabian Delph, implicated in a row in the small hours of Tuesday morning. They have all been disciplined by the club, Delph receiving a lighter punishment as he apparently acted as peacemaker in the incident. "We knew about it on Tuesday and acted very swiftly," McLeish said. "We're very disappointed. We won't tolerate that kind of behaviour.

"If selected I think the most important thing is that they've been punished. They've shown a bit of humility, which is the least we can expect."

The events have clearly soured an already heated atmosphere around Villa's final home match of their increasingly fractious season.

"It happens at every club," McLeish reasoned. "It happens at even the top clubs. It's the culture of one pint too many. I think it reflects badly on Randy Lerner, the club, myself and most importantly the players themselves. They owe us."

Delph has an injury which is keeping him out until next season, but Herd and Collins could be selected for Villa's vital last two matches, giving McLeish yet another tricky decision.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss