McLeish - We must improve
Under-fire Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is trying to ignore his critics, but is well aware of the price of failure.
Last Updated: 09/12/11 9:21am
Under-fire Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is trying to ignore his critics, but is well aware of the price of failure in the Premier League.
Some Villa fans, who were already unhappy at the summer appointment of the former Birmingham boss, are furious about a run of three games without a win or a goal.
McLeish is coming under increased pressure as a consequence and, although he is trying to block out the doubters, he knows performances need to improve.
Ahead of Saturday's match at Bolton, the Scot said: "I am not as doom-and-gloomy as some people are.
"The social networks and phone-ins have evolved to make it a blame culture and knee-jerk culture. You have to deal with it and live with it - that is the way it is.
"If I was to listen and read everything, my shoulders would be hunched.
"Failure is monstrous. Margins of success and failure can be miniscule, but the consequences are enormous."
McLeish knows the service to striker Darren Bent is one of the areas that needs to be addressed after statistics revealed the £18m man touches the ball on average just over 20 times a match.
He said: "It is hard to find the right system in every game for every player. But we do need to get more support to Benty. We are trying to improve the vision of some of the players.
"We have to get more firepower, strikes on goal and more corners and penetration.
"We played two up against Spurs and got battered in midfield. When you don't see our wide men coming in from the side it can be frustrating because it is not as if we say, 'stay wide and don't go in the box.'"
McLeish has also played down suggestions of a bust-up with Richard Dunne after the pair were pictured having an apparent row during last weekend's defeat to Manchester United.
The Villa boss said: "There was some wee discussion about that, but no animosity."