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McLeish: Man Utd boss Ferguson told me to grab Villa chance

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson urged Alex McLeish to take the Aston Villa job.

McLeish admits he's been surprised by the stick he's copped since his appointment.

He revealed: "I'll be under pressure right away and the bottom line is I'll need to get results.

"But no one has said I am barmy for taking the job. I have asked that question of my friends but they've all said 'you have to take it'.

"Sir Alex came out and said I should go for it. He told me 'this is a big one, a real big club'. I thought to myself, 'that's an endorsement'. My message to the fans would be 'let me prove myself and I'll win you over'.

"It is not a case of proving them wrong.

"I want to go forward with the Villa fans and I want to prove to them I am the man for this job. I am sure a few people wanted to punch me but I have taken a lot of heart despite the furore over the last couple of days.

"Hopefully I will look back on it with affection."

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