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May 14, 2012

McLeish sacked by Aston Villa

Under-fire Alex McLeish has been sacked by Aston Villa after holding talks with senior club officials on Monday.

It was reported that owner Randy Lerner had flown in from the United States to speak with McLeish along with in the aftermath of Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Norwich, which was described as ''woeful'' by the manager.

And the result of those talks was a statement on the website which read: "Aston Villa can confirm that Alex McLeish's contract has been terminated with immediate effect. The club has been disappointed with this season's results, performances and the general message these have sent to our fans.

"The board wishes to assure supporters that we are conscious in every sense that Villa expects and deserves more and we will strive to deliver this."

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "We'd like to thank Alex for his hard work and efforts throughout this tough season.

"We are mindful of the club's need to prepare thoroughly for the new campaign and for the new manager to be able to begin working with the board so that he is quickly immersed in these preparations and also in the long-term objectives of the club. Our focus now will be driven by these imperatives and we will update when appropriate."

Villa chairman Randy Lerner added: "We need to be clear and candid with ourselves and with supporters about what we have lacked in recent years. Compelling play and results that instil a sense of confidence that Villa is on the right track have been plainly absent.

"The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options in terms of bringing in a new manager who sees the club's potential and embraces our collective expectations."

McLeish has been bombarded with abuse this season and sections of fans again called for the former Birmingham boss to be axed as Villa ended the campaign just two points clear of the bottom three.

Their tally of 38 points in finishing 16th is actually one less than when McLeish was relegated with Birmingham last campaign, while Villa have also encountered their worst season in their history in terms of their home record in registering just four wins.

McLeish insisted after the 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road he was still the right man for the job and was aiming to rebuild the side. But Lerner has decided it is time to search for a fourth manager in less than two years.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert is among the favourites to replace McLeish but Canaries chief executive David McNally has warned an approach would not be welcome.

"We would not welcome any enquiry for our football manager or any of the club's football players," McNally told BBC Radio Norfolk. "We'll do everything we can and fight this as hard as we've ever fought."

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