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McLeish -- Villa are in period of transition

Alex McLeish admits Aston Villa are in a period of transition and that the club has to "run within its means" after chief executive Paul Faulkner set his sights on securing European football.

McLeish has had no discussions with Faulkner or club owner Randy Lerner about whether money will be available for new players in January, and is aware that Villa's wage bill has to be reduced further.

But the Scot will do everything possible to keep Villa at the top end of the Premier League, even though he feels Faulkner's European hopes do not necessarily relate to the current campaign.

McLeish said: "We're in eighth position, so the European positions are not too far away. But I think Paul means ultimately (in the future) when he says that.

"But we aren't as strong in terms of experienced players as we were last season.


"I know every single Villa fan expects us to be fighting for Europe every year of Villa's existence and I accept those expectation levels.

"Villa fans would be of that mindset because of the history and the heritage so I'll just keep fighting.

"I'm a rottweiler, I don't give up easily and I'll try and keep the club in a good, stable position and try and get as high up the table as we can."

Asked about his January transfer plans, McLeish said: "At the moment we've not had that discussion.

"Randy (Lerner) and the board want to drive the wages down, in terms of the Financial Fair Play (rules), but also in the way that the club is run."

McLeish added: "The club has got to run within its means. I've not actually asked for any funds as yet and we've still to see Jermaine Jenas playing in the team as well."

McLeish confirmed midfielder Barry Bannan will be available for tomorrow's clash at Swansea after his 18-month driving ban.

Bannan pleaded guilty to drink-driving and three other motoring offences at Nottingham Magistrates Court and was fined £4,500, in addition to being disciplined by the club.