Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish says it is best to ignore 'knee-jerk' critics

Scot insists it can do no manager any good listening to phone-ins or reading critical websites, and believes Andre Villas-Boas was trying to create a siege mentality with outburst
Pressure is mounting on Alex McLeish as Aston Villa have failed to score in three games and face a tough trip to Bolton on Saturday.

But the Scot has insisted it is best to ignore the growing mass of reactionary critics who seek to heap blame on managers after poor results.

“The social networks and phone-ins have evolved and have made it a blame culture, a knee-jerk culture,” he told The Times.

“But you’ve just got to deal and live with it. That’s just the way it is. You keep your powder dry until you have a moment like Andre Villas-Boas the other night.

“Because of what people tell you, you are aware of what’s out there but why listen or read that? It would not help any individual at all.”

The reference to Villas-Boas' “persecution” outburst after Chelsea's win over Valencia highlighted McLeish's awareness that his contemporaries use the media for the benefit of their players.

McLeish said: “It’s a little bit tactical, creating a siege mentality of ‘they’re all against us.’”

While the Villa manager targets a win at struggling Bolton, he has indicated there will have to be a sell to buy transfer policy if he is to sign new players in January.

“The stance is the same as in the summer,” McLeish said. “We have to trade before we can bring new faces in.”

Villa have been left short in a couple of areas due to injuries to goalkeeper Shay Given and on-loan Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas, who is expected to miss the entire season following an ankle injury suffered against Manchester United and has been sent back to Spurs for rehabilitation.

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