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By ESPN Staff

McLeish to lay down the law

New Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish will ''lay down some ground rules'' on how he expects his squad to behave when they report back on July 7 for pre-season training.

McLeish was renowned for fostering a strong team spirit at Birmingham during his three-and-a-half years in charge at St Andrew's. But the former Scotland boss will also stand no nonsense if players step out of line.

McLeish said: ''I don't think there is any doubt about the fact that I'm in charge. Where we're coming from is that we will lay down some ground rules.

''There will be templates for the training ground and some in-house rules so no-one is in any doubt from the start about the way forward for the club.

''If there is something that needs to be said in front of the whole group, then it gets said and the guys will be told. But at the same time I think you've got to establish relationships as well with players, and vice-versa, to get the best out of them.''

McLeish has already indicated that the slate is ''wiped clean'' for any players who were not part of previous Villa manager Gerard Houllier's plans.

Stephen Warnock, Stephen Ireland and Habib Beye were given few opportunities by Houllier.

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