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McLeish pleased with point

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Alex McLeish was happy not to come away from his competitive Villa debut empty-handed as they clinched a point at Fulham.

Villa boss happy to leave with share of spoils

New manager Alex McLeish was happy not to come away from his Aston Villa Premier League debut empty-handed they clinched a point at Fulham. McLeish is under pressure to make a strong start at Villa Park after he was controversially appointed earlier this summer having suffered relegation with fierce Midlands rivals Birmingham last season. The Villa boss was pleased with the positive reception he received from the travelling fans at Craven Cottage and was glad to repay them with a share of the spoils as the game ended in a goalless draw.

Reception

"It felt good. I felt there was a good atmosphere, a great reception from the Villa fans as I walked across the field," he told Sky Sports News. "It's one of the toughest places to come and when your own fans don't like you, I've been a victim of that before. "Coming off at full-time, giving the fans something to go up the road with, at least a point. It was terrific to be able to walk back across and salute them." McLeish felt his side did particularly well given Fulham's reputation for being strong on home turf. "We've faced many tough teams but Fulham are a really good side," he added. "They know each other inside out. Their movements are tremendous. "They'll be a tough nut for anybody to crack here at Craven Cottage." After an attacking first-half display, Villa were forced onto the backfoot by Fulham after the break. McLeish was pleased to see his backline cope under pressure from the hosts and gave a special nod to the display of new goalkeeper Shay Given. "First half I thought we were excellent, second half we never started well and we had to rely on good defending and some great goalkeeping," he said.
Given
Focusing on Given, who Villa rescued from his Manchester City nightmare last month, the manager added: "His experience tells him when to go into the right positions. "You might have seen other goalies diving for one of the two that came point-blank at him, but that's the experience of a great goalkeeper." McLeish denied Given was solely responsible for Saturday's draw. He said: "I don't think it's fair to say that. I would never say that. It's a team game and the team contributed to that point."

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