McLeish: I'm the man for Villa
© AFP

New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish insisted on Monday that he is the right man for the job despite the controversy of his move from city rivals Birmingham City. McLeish's appointment was criticised by both sets of fans after he was named Gerard Houllier's successor at Villa Park, but the former Rangers coach believes he can win over the doubters.

"Let me prove myself and I will win you over. It is not a case of proving the fans wrong, I want to go forward with them and prove I am the man for this job," he said. "I can understand the passion and emotion of football and as long as it doesn't get out of control I can understand their feelings. Am I fazed by it? No. Have I had it before? Yes. I really look forward to the challenge."

The 52-year-old admitted the decision to leave the Blues was tough. "I wouldn't say it was a difficult decision in my career but it was a tough one, it is not every day you get offered a job like this. There is no way I couldn't have been the manager of Villa," he said.

Let me prove myself and I will win you over. I want to go forward with them and prove I am the man for this job.
New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish's message to the fans

"I thank them very much for their support over the four years I have been there. Not everybody was sure of me at Birmingham and OK, I left on relegation, but we just fought one of the hardest Premier League campaigns ever. To think I have been able to manage both of them (Villa and Birmingham) is a wonderful honour."

The former Scotland boss also revealed he would have no problems in returning to his former club in the quest to add new players to the Villa ranks. "I know there are many good players there but the policy that I have always maintained is not to talk about other clubs' players," he said.

"I'm getting bombarded -- we are just going to access things at the moment. If I thought a (Birmingham) player could improve Aston Villa Football Club, why not?"