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Hodgson: McLeish moving from Birmingham to Villa a natural progression

West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson could not see the shock when Alex McLeish swapped Birmingham for Aston Villa. Hodgson said: "I don't know why it should be considered a bold move to move from a team that has been relegated to the biggest team in the Birmingham area, at least traditionally.

"Certainly, if you talk in terms of financial resources and financial power, Villa are the biggest team in the area.

"I don't think ourselves, Wolves or Birmingham would compare ourselves to Aston Villa.

"If you look at the money they pay for players, you don't see the other teams doing that.

"They're the ones with the money and the power and the ones who are expected to get into the top six far more than us others.

"It seems to me to be a fairly simple decision to make if you've got the chance to move to that club from a club that has been relegated. I don't know what's particularly bold about it."

Hodgson is also sure McLeish will soon win over any remaining doubters if he brings success to the club.

He said: "Are we talking about a vociferous few fans or every single person who goes to Aston Villa and all the fans they have that don't even go to the game?

"I don't know that 150,000 people were asked their opinion (when McLeish took over). It might have been a small group that had an opinion about it.

"But I'm sure that opinion will change very, very quickly if Aston Villa finish in the top four this season.

"I'm pretty sure they will then be carting McLeish around and saying he's the best appointment the club has ever made and he's the best manager the club has had for many years. That's how it is.

"It's up to the people who run clubs to make their decision and hopefully make the right decision.

"If they succeed in that it will be the right decision in the long term for the fans.

"People who run the club and the fans presumably want the same things - success, stability and a team they can be proud to support and watch."

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Dave Williams

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