Boss given vote of confidence
Under-fire Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has received the backing of the club's owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner.
Fans are calling for the Scot's head with Villa in danger of being sucked into the relegation zone, and hostility towards him is intensifying in the wake of Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Bolton. However, the club's hierarchy are pleading for calm in the face of the supporters' fears as McLeish to avoid a second successive relegation from the Premier League in two years after going down on the final day of last season with bitter rivals Birmingham City. It's fair to say the appointment of the former Blues manager last summer has never sat comfortably with a large section of the Villa's fan-base, but a run of just one win from their last 13 games has certainly not helped relations. Faulkner and Lerner want the protesters to try and forget their grievances for the time being and focus solely on helping the team do all that they can to survive in the remaining three games, with Villa currently just three points above the bottom three. In a joint statement they said: "We will continue to support and rely on our manager and the squad and therefore give them our full support. We are totally conscious, as is everyone at the club, that this is a very trying time for those who love Aston Villa. "We know that the team will continue to fight through every minute of the remaining games and we hope Villa fans will continue to show their great support. "Right now everyone connected with Villa is hurting badly. We very openly acknowledge the frustrations of Villa fans and share in them completely." Two out of Villa's three remaining fixtures are away from home starting with the trip to West Brom this weekend, and ending with a clash at Norwich, with the visit of Tottenham sandwiched in-between.