Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish doesn't expect Stewart Downing to lose his rag if they continue to reject offers from Liverpool for him.

McLeish says he overcame failing to secure a move to Manchester United as a player and would expect the same response from Downing if he is still at Villa next season.

He said: "I've spoken to Stewart, I've told him I don't want to sell him.

"There's an obvious distraction there for him but he's been a credit to himself and applied himself in the right way and worked his socks off in training. I don't see a problem professionally.

"Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign me for Manchester United when I was at Aberdeen and that wasn't possible in the end.

"That was a big disappointment but I got my head down and worked and I don't doubt Stewart has the character to get through this is he stays at the club.

"It's part of your growing up as a footballer."

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