McLEISH: VILLA WILL DECIDE OWN DESTINY
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has called for his side to put their on and off-pitch woes behind them to claim a vital win against Tottenham on Sunday.
Villa have not won in their last eight Barclays Premier League games and are just three points above the relegation zone.
Their preparation for the penultimate match of the season has been marred by an altercation outside a nightclub which involved midfielders Fabian Delph and Chris Herd and defender James Collins.
The players have subsequently been fined and the incident dealt with internally by the club, and with his side staring relegation in the face, McLeish has called for his side to raise their game at Villa Park against Champions League contenders Spurs.
"I would like for us to cross the line via our own devices," McLeish said.
"I know we face a talented Tottenham side. We've not done ourselves justice at all at Villa Park this season but Sunday would be a good day to start.
"Every team can be beaten, we know that, but I am sure Spurs will have great confidence. We have got to try to create an identity here where any team leaving Villa Park know they have been in a game."
Harry Redknapp's Spurs edged above Newcastle into fourth place following back-to-back wins over strugglers Blackburn and Bolton.
With QPR being comprehensibly thrashed 6-1 by Chelsea last weekend and Blackburn hosting fellow relegation candidates Wigan, results appear to be going McLeish's way.
The Scot was boosted by the return of Richard Dunne to last weekend's goalless draw against West Brom and it looks likely he will have another experienced player returning to his line-up against Spurs in the form of Stephen Ireland.
"A draw was the least we deserved in the West Brom game," McLeish said.
"It was a half-decent performance. We made some chances and had some experienced players back.
"Richard Dunne was outstanding and showed how much we missed a guy of that experience.
"Stephen has had a good week in training. He's trained well and looked sharp.
"He is clear of the niggly injuries he had with his knee and his hip. As I say, I have some experienced players back and let's go for the victory on Sunday."
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