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McLeish laying down the law with Bannan's exile

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has stressed the importance of discipline amongst his players after bringing in new guidelines for them to adhere to since taking charge.

McLeish admitted he suspended midfielder Barry Bannan -- arrested on suspicion of drink driving and bailed by police over the weekend -- "because we have to have discipline."

The former Scotland boss was keen not to add to the statement released earlier in the week confirming Bannan was suspended while an internal inquiry takes place. But he has made it clear to all his players that certain standards and rules have to be taken on board.

McLeish has already stated any new signings and current players signing new contracts will have to live within one hour of the training ground.

Bannan is not available for tomorrow's game at Sunderland and no timescale has been put on the length of his ban. When asked why he had suspended Bannan, McLeish said: "We have to have discipline -- but I'm not going to add to the statement that was made previously. There is nothing to add.

"How long will the suspension be in place? We'll just have to wait and see but he is not available this weekend.


"We are not pre-judging anything at all and have made that clear.

"Barry has done well this season but he can get better, like everybody else.

"I don't want to speak about Barry anymore. We are concentrating on the game against Sunderland and I'd prefer to talk about that."

But when asked about discipline as a general subject, McLeish said: "I think that we have to have a bit of mutual respect.

"We're in the professional world and there have to be certain ground rules.

"I'm not saying it's anything to do with last season (at Villa) because you can never tell. I didn't base it on last year, I based it on what I feel is right.

"It happened with me as well in previous clubs. We can get along fine but you've got to have discipline. The senior players can help the youngsters and be a big influence in every respect."