McLeish left the club after being sacked in the summer of 2012.
He told the Birmingham Mail: "I think it is still a work in progress for Paul.
"I was there a year and there is no way I could have turned things around in a year. There definitely had to be some kind of clear-out and I stated that at the end of my very last game. But it just wasn't the right fit for me and Aston Villa unfortunately.
"It would have been great to have gone forward with Villa because they are a huge club with great heritage and the fans expect them to be up in the top six or eight at least every season. Because of where Martin O'Neill got them, the expectation levels are that they should be up in that top six.
"Paul has brought a lot of young boys in and it looks like he has adhered to the money side of things that I worked under as well. There is a great improvement in terms of the quality of the strikers."
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