Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Alex McLeish is the right man for Aston Villa.

McLeish was Ferguson's captain at Aberdeen.

"I do have sympathy for Alex," said the United manager. "I have known him since he was a little kid.

"When I brought him into the team at Aberdeen, he was always a very receptive, intelligent young man.

"He was a great player, has had a good career as a manager and will do a good job at Villa given time, trust and confidence.

"We all need a pat on the back at times and Alex has done a remarkable job."