Tuesday 28 February 2017

Koeman shows Villa interest

John Curtis

Aston Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald expects a new manager to be appointed by owner Randy Lerner in time for the clash at Stoke on September 13.

MacDonald will decide by tomorrow whether he wants to be considered for the post on a full-time basis as Ronald Koeman yesterday declared his interest in the post.

The former Liverpool midfielder will be in charge for today's home game with Everton as Villa look to bounce back from their Europa League exit at the hands of Rapid Vienna.

"I have been in contact for a lot of the time with Mr Lerner. He's been very supportive of what's gone on," MacDonald said. "They have obviously been to watch the team play. To be fair, it's probably a bit both ways about the timescale.

"It's probably not nice for the fans but it's been difficult for them. You've got to remember it's difficult for myself and Mr Lerner. We are short staffed and there's everything going on that we are trying to sort out.

"My impression is, if I wish to be considered, they will do one or two interviews, if I was to be one of the names on the shortlist. They'd be hoping to get a new manager in before the league game against Stoke."

Regarding whether or not he applies himself for the post, MacDonald added, "I will see how I feel. Do I feel I have what it takes to be a Premier League manager? Do I want to be in the spotlight as it is? All these things have to be taken into consideration.

"I know it's not easy for Villa supporters because they must think 'oh you should be desperate to take the job.' It will be a great opportunity if I did want to be involved. But I have decisions to make as well and I hope people respect that.

"Pressure is what you put on yourself in many ways. I was excited and very fortunate to be given the opportunity to take over. Whether I go on from there, remains to be seen."

MacDonald believes Martin O'Neill's successor should be well versed in the qualities of the Premier League.

"You need someone who will be committed, who will know the game, know the English game and know what is required to win games in the Premier League," he said. "That is all that counts. If they can then have a cup run or two good cup runs like last year, then that buys more time.

"But, ultimately, it is about winning games in the Premier League and getting as high in the table as possible. Everybody who applied would know the English game because it is televised so much now anyway. There is no hiding place now from the Premier League."

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is expected to have recovered from the tight calf suffered against Vienna.

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