McLeish coy on Bannan
Alex McLeish wants to relieve the pressure on his Aston Villa youngsters in the wake of Barry Bannan's display at QPR.
Last Updated: 26/09/11 4:10pm
Alex McLeish insists he is looking to relieve the pressure on his Aston Villa youngsters in the wake of Barry Bannan's display at QPR.
The Scotland international made his second Premier League start of the season on Sunday in Villa's 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.
Bannan, who spent time on loan at Leeds last season, opened the scoring with a controversial penalty following a shirt pull on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
McLeish insists Bannan was not the guaranteed penalty taker and that it was the youngster's confidence that earned him the right to take it.
Villa's manager was quietly pleased with the 21-year-old's display, although he is refusing to get carried away with his promising showing.
"Bannan took about 40 minutes to get into the game, like everybody else," commented McLeish.
"Our touch and passing was very poor up until half-time and thankfully we got a grip in the second half.
"I've seen some players who excelled on the training ground doing the real thing, instead of leaving it all behind in the first half.
"Bannan claimed the penalty, I never pre-ordained who would take a penalty if we got one, but Barry was confident.
"You can see in the way he grabbed the ball that he was very confident he'd dispatch it."
Asked about Bannan's performance in particular, he added: "I don't want to put too much pressure on the young players.
"The expectations are a club like Villa is that we should be higher up the table, winning games.
"I will take the pressure off the young players. We have to try and make progress along the way, as steadily as possible.
"Barry has shown some bright moments in different positions."