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Alex McLeish: My tactics are not negative

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Alex McLeish today hit back at the critics who have perpetuated the "myth" his Villa side play negative football and urged them to "examine the facts".

Alex McLeish today hit back at the critics who have perpetuated the "myth" his Villa side play negative football and urged them to "examine the facts".

Villa have not scored in their past three Premier League games which has led to a section of supporters and a number of pundits questioning McLeish's approach.

But the Scot insisted his philosophy as a manager is not negative and the teams he has selected have been attacking ones even if results and performances have not always reflected that.

"I think it's a myth, I just think it's a myth. I think in all my days as a coach and manager I've had pretty dynamic teams all the way," said McLeish.

"Even the Birmingham team that went down when I took over from Steve Bruce; James McFadden and Mikael Forssell were magnificent until McFadden got injured for the last few months.

"I don't think they're examining the facts, so there's nothing much I can do about that, but it's a myth. That's for sure and that's a fact.

"I shouldn't have to explain it, if they examined the facts and they looked at my teams over the years you'll see that they were entertaining teams. I think the guy that took over at Hibernian recently said it would be great to get a Hibs team playing how McLeish's team played.

"Why don't they look at other things as well, rather than just looking at the manager?"

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McLeish also revealed his players have been working hard in training to address the lack of goals in the side but has asked for patience and understanding during a transitional period for the club.

"Do you think we don't work on finishing? Every single day we end up with a finishing session, practising shots on goal and getting strikes on target," added the Villa boss.

"But at the same time the engineering of chances is the thing and at the moment we're still working to get to a better level. I'm hoping and believing that in one of the set-ups everybody produces a top performance on the same day.

"I feel the pain when we lose, I feel the pain when we don't perform well. Just like everybody else I'm extremely proud. But I'm totally focussed and I'm determined to do a great job for Villa.

"I don't think we're doing a horrible job at the minute, but I think people have to be understanding of the young players we've got at the moment who are trying to become Premier League players."

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