It was McLeish who signed former Villa midfielder Craig for Birmingham City in January 2010 and the Solihull-born star went on to be the club's player of the year and top scorer last term.
Having heard rave reviews about the Scotsman from his brother, Gary is keen to make a big impact on the new boss.
"Craig told me all about the gaffer and the backroom staff and he told me they are top class," he told Villa's website.
"To be honest I have seen that as well since they have been here - they have been brilliant to the lads.
"Craig did wonders for him last year so hopefully I can get a chance this year and do the same thing.
"I'll work for him 110 per cent every game. My brother told me that he is top class and I want to work hard for him and the backroom staff."