Bannan, 22, was a bit-part player under McLeish last season as Villa toiled badly.
But he told the Scottish Sun: â€œIt has been well documented a lot of the Villa fans were not happy with the manager.
â€œThe circumstances in which he joined us and the fact weâ€™ve not enjoyed a good season all counted against him. I have to be honest and say from my point of view Alex McLeish was terrific with me.
â€œThat might seem a bit strange given I didnâ€™t play every week, but I couldnâ€™t say a bad word against him. Alex was knowledgeable and a nice guy to deal with.
â€œFrom the first day he came into Villa I worked hard to prove I should be in his team.
â€œIt didnâ€™t always work out that way, but I gave it my best shot."