Manager Alex McLeish sacked by Aston Villa



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Former Birmingham, Rangers & Scotland boss McLeish (pictured) spent just one season in the hotseat at Villa Park before leaving 


Aston Villa have sacked their manager Alex McLeish after just eleven months in charge at Villa Park.

The 53-year-old former Scotland manager said his farewells to his playing and coaching staff at the training ground on Monday morning. Villa have endured a poor Premier League campaign, finishing just above the relegation zone after winning only four of the nineteen games at home- only one coming this calendar year.

McLeish was an unpopular appointment as he arrived from Birmingham City last year but poor results and performances worsened his relationship with fans. A club statement read: "Aston Villa can confirm that Alex McLeish's contract has been terminated with immediate effect. The club has been disappointed with this season's results, performances and the general message these have sent to our fans. The board wishes to assure supporters that we are conscious in every sense that Villa expects and deserves more and we will strive to deliver this."

Villa chairman Randy Lerner said: "We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years. Compelling play and results that instil a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent. The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options in terms of bringing in a new manager who sees the club's potential and embraces our collective expectations."

The early bookmakers favourite for the job is Norwich manager Paul Lambert, but earlier in the day Canaries chief executive David McNally said he would "fight" to keep the boss at Carrow Road.

McLeish took over from Gerard Houllier, who quit through medical advice after heart surgery, in June 2011 but Villa won only seven league matches all season, effectively securing their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the penultimate game.

McLeish had stints with Motherwell and Hibernian before taking over at Rangers in December 2001. He went on to win two SPL titles in 2003 and 2005. His spell at Ibrox ended in 2006 and after a brief spell as Scotland manager he joined Birmingham in November 2007. McLeish could not avoid relegation in his first season but brought them straight back to the Premier League in 2009.

Despite guiding Blues to victory in the Carling Cup Final in February 2011, a dreadful league run at the tail end of the campaign saw them relegated once again three months later on the last day of the season.

Last week he told BBC Sport news sources that he expected to be in charge at the club next season and said he had planned to overhaul the squad this summer


Click here for a quick recap on Alex McLeish's short reign as Aston Villa manager


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