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By ESPN Staff

Sacking McLeish 'foolish' - Ellis

Former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis believes it would be ''foolish'' for the current owner Randy Lerner to sack manager Alex McLeish.

• Blog: Villa relegation threat is real

Villa fans demanded the end of McLeish's reign after Tuesday's 2-1 home defeat by Bolton left them only three points above the Premier League relegation zone.

A section of supporters are intending to protest against McLeish during the final home game of the season against Tottenham on May 6. But Ellis, who sold his controlling stake to Lerner six years ago, has backed his decision to support McLeish.

Ellis told the Birmingham Mail: ''It would be foolish for McLeish to go. Despite the fact most of the fans are upset he came from Birmingham, McLeish is a good manager.

''The game is not about management, it is about players. Villa have three, four, five established first team players who are injured and we have to bring in the kids.

''But they will not go down. Villa have three more matches, a three point gap above the bottom three, a better goal difference, and need three points to be certain.''

Fans vented their anger against McLeish after the Bolton defeat which meant they had won just once in 13 games and intend to protest at the Spurs game.

Protest organiser Chris Hearn said: ''We want to increase the pressure on our board to act or for McLeish to do the honourable thing and walk away.

''If supporters have had enough of the direction the club is taking under McLeish, now is the time to act.''

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