Former coach backed for management role
Barry Bannan is tipping his former mentor Kevin MacDonald to be a big hit as a manager following his exit from Aston Villa.
MacDonald brought his long association with the club to an end earlier this month after 17 years at Villa Park after aiding the development of a number of home-grown stars, who now command regular places in the senior squad, including Scottish international Bannan. The 51-year-old is keen to try his hand in management after speaking with new Villa boss Paul Lambert about his desire to take up a new challenge soon after his arrival from Norwich City. The former Villa reserve manager did have a taste of running first-team affairs when he was placed in temporary charge following Martin O'Neill's shock departure on the eve of the season two years ago. However, he didn't land the job on a permanent basis as Villa opted instead to appoint Gerard Houllier with MacDonald reverting back to his old role after blooding a number of stars he had worked so closely with in the past. Bannan has no doubt that the ex-Liverpool star, who won the double during his time at Anfield, has all the qualities required to be a major success elsewhere if he is given the opportunity. "He's definitely capable of being a manager if that's what he decides to do," said Bannan. "A couple of years ago when he took us for a couple of games all the players loved it. "But then he obviously never got the job. I think from then on he wanted the job because he liked the feeling of it. I think probably Championship or League One he could do really well. "He was an all rounder, you'd know not to step out of line with Kev but there were times when you could have a bit of banter with him. Coaching wise he was second to none, he was brilliant."