McLeish wants more from Villa

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has demanded his players become more ruthless after seeing them held to a fourth draw in five Premier League matches.

Although yesterday's 1-1 draw against Newcastle United preserved Villa's unbeaten record, they have won just once in the Premier League this season - a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers - and there was even a smattering of boos from fans at the final whistle.

Having taken an early lead through Gabriel Agbonlahor with his third goal of the season, Villa failed to take advantage of their first-half dominance and were punished when Leon Best fired in from close range midway through the second half.

Although McLeish insisted he is satisfied with Villa's start to the campaign, he admitted he viewed the result as Villa's most frustrating this season. And the Scot warned he wants more from some of his players after admitting they are capable of better.

The players have been very receptive to the ideas, we just need to be a bit more ruthless. I know there are players out there capable of doing more.
Alex McLeish, Aston Villa manager

McLeish said: "I can't say I'm disappointed by our start to the season at all. The players have been very receptive to the ideas, we just need to be a bit more ruthless. I know there are players out there capable of doing more. We are working hard. It's probably the most frustrated I've been.

"The way we started the game was blistering, fantastic. I had a good feeling about it after the first goal, we were opening them up, Darren Bent had a fantastic chance to make it 2-0, but he is only human. Then we had a couple of injury problems with Stiliyan Petrov [ankle] and Stephen Warnock [hip] and we lost a bit of impetus."

Injuries are a cause for concern for McLeish ahead of Tuesday's League Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers. Bent (groin) is a doubt along with Petrov and Warnock, Emile Heskey (hamstring) and Carlos Cuellar (knee) are definitely out, while loan signing Jermaine Jenas is battling to recover from a thigh problem as he awaits his debut.

Pardew pleased with performance
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew felt his team were unfortunate not to depart with the three points, as their encouraging start continued. The Magpies now have nine points from their first five matches.

"I was delighted with our performance. When you come to Aston Villa you don't expect to control the game for as long as we did, although you could be slightly disappointed with not winning," said Pardew.

He praised goalscorer Best after the Republic of Ireland international netted his third of the campaign. "Leon is a guy who has been around the game a long time. He has not really had the chances at Premier League level that he feels he deserves," Pardew added.

"Leon has great belief in himself. He gets a start, he gets a goal, and he keeps the shirt, it's as simple as that in my book. I'm pleased for him and he will be in against Blackburn next week and I hope he scores again."