Alex McLeish: I want to make Villa more like Birmingham at home
Published 23:00 21/06/11 By James Nursey
New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish wants to transport Birmingham's superb home record across the city.
Villa fans are still adjusting to McLeish's shock defection from St Andrews which has rocked the Second City.
Promoted Brum came ninth under McLeish in 2009-10 after losing just twice at home as St Andrews became a feared ground.
Their unbeaten home record of 18 successive Premier League games stretched from September 2009 - October 2010 before defeat to Everton.
Now McLeish hopes Villa supporters can rally behind his appointment and roar his new side on at home after he quit relegated Brum.
He said: "Hopefully we make Villa Park a fortress and a very intimidating place for other teams to come.
"I am sure the fans will be able to do their part and be the proverbial 12th man."
Ex-Rangers boss McLeish spent Monday at Villa Park before his official unveiling at the training ground.
He added: "It is a phenomenal stadium and reminds me of Ibrox and Glasgow Rangers Football Club where I coached and managed.
"It brings back fond memories of my time at Rangers."
McLeish has signed a three-year contract at Villa Park but is already hoping to stay longer.
He said: "If I am here for four or five years I know I will have done something right and finally have won the Villa fans over.
"We will rely on getting off to a really good start.
"We have the tools to help the players as long as they have the fire in their belly to go to the top."
McLeish reiterated he will give predecessor Gerard Houllier's outcasts like Stephen Ireland, Stephen Warnock and Habib Beye a fresh crack.
He added: "There is a clean slate and maybe players here in the doldrums were maybe mentally not right before.
"Hopefully we can give them a spark.
"I don't think anyone purchased as an Aston Villa player is a bad player.
"I am sure everyone will get their opportunity."