Alex McLeish: I'm no magician

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish today hit back at his critics and insisted there are only a handful of managers who could improve on what he has done this season.

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish today hit back at his critics and insisted there are only a handful of managers who could improve on what he has done this season.

The claret and blues are currently eight points above the Premier League relegation zone in 15th place having amassed 29 points from 26 games.

McLeish has frequently made references to it being a season of transition and the pressure he is under to bring the wage budget down was laid bare when details of Villa’s financial situation were released earlier in the week.

However, it has not stopped a growth in anti-McLeish sentiment which culminated in the abuse the Scot took from the travelling Villa fans at Wigan last weekend.

“I’ve not got a magic wand and I don’t think there are a lot of managers who could do a lot better than the job I am doing just now,” said the Villa boss.

“I know how hard I work and I want a bit of respite. I knew when I came that there was going to be some demanding times ahead and that changing the squad around would take time. But I took the challenge and I’m certainly not going to quit it now.

“I think Randy Lerner realises the massive challenge I have got and that we have opted to go down this road. There has never been any pressure from him.”