Ron Atkinson believes some big signings will help Alex McLeish win over Aston Villa fans.
Atkinson believes Big Eck, who wants to take Blues keeper Ben Foster with him to Villa Park, must bring in some exciting signings.
He says McLeish has a chance to assert his authority early on by retaining Downing - whether the winger likes it or not.
"He'll have to be strong with Downing and say: 'You're not going,'" he said.
"Nothing wins fans over more than a couple of bold, exciting signings to capture the imagination.
"That will do wonders for his standing and show the fans they really mean business."