Alex McLeish has hit out at Aston Villa players James Collins, Chris Herd and Fabian Delph after the trio were seen drinking in a Birmingham nightclub.
The club had been hosting an awards ceremony earlier in the evening before Collins, Herd and Delph all made their way to a nightclub, for which boss McLeish did not grant permission. A member of the public caught Hurd on camera in an altercation with a member of the nightclub's staff, while Delph tried to diffuse the situation.
All three of the players have been disciplined and fined by the club with the fees being given to two charities.
"I didn't expect what happened, I expected everyone just to go home," McLeish told reporters.
"I feel anger, frustration, disappointment over what has happened with these three players.
"There was no alcohol at the players’ tables at the awards night and I thought – I must be naive despite having been round the block a few times – they would all go home. I left quite early to drive home. I was a bit shocked to hear the news in the morning. The expectations were that they wouldn't start drinking at the end of the gig."
Villa currently sit in 15th position in the Premier League, just three points off the drop zone and will need to secure a victory against Tottenham tomorrow if they are to secure survival.
Furthermore the Scotsman admitted his disbelief given the position that the club find themselves in.
"It makes it all the more baffling considering the club’s position, I just didn't expect that at all," said the 53-year-old.
"But a blanket ban on alcohol, maybe driving them home personally at the end of the night, standing guard outside their house 24 hours? What can you do? It became unbelievable, I couldn't fathom it."
All three of the players involved have since issued statements that include apologies to the fans and the club.
Herd said: "My actions on the night were out of character.
"I'll do everything I can to make it up to the club and the fans, as they have been fantastic since I've joined the team."
And Delph, who is currently out of first team action with an ankle injury, said: "I was sober, I was in control of my actions and I did try to calm down the situation.
"I didn't hit out or strike anyone but I should not have been there and I was wrong to be in this position."
Defender, Collins, added: "I know I've let myself down, I've let the club down, I've let the manager down and, most of all, I've let down the fans of Aston Villa, who have been great to me."
McLeish acknowledged the apologies of all three players, but he was still keen to make clear what his players needed to do to make things better for themselves.
"They have accepted their punishment, shown humility, which was the least I expected from them, and if they are selected we ask the fans to get behind them for this game," he said.
"The biggest response we are looking for is this weekend. The players owe me, they owe Randy Lerner, they owe everybody. They owe Aston Villa fans a massive performance."
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