Aston Villa fans may never like Alex McLeish, says Stoke boss Tony Pulis

They might never like you, Alex: Pulis fires fans warning to Villa boss McLeish

Tony Pulis has warned Alex McLeish that he may never change some Aston Villa supporters’ view of him, even if he leads them to glory.

Monday’s opposite number Pulis knows all about being on the wrong side of fans after a difficult beginning to his second stint at Stoke.

He won them over by guiding the club to the top flight and keeping them in it. But he said: ‘There will always be a percentage who will never be happy.

Tough job: Tony Pulis had to work to win the fans over at Stoke

Tough job: Tony Pulis had to work to win the fans over at Stoke

Irrespective of what the club are doing, there will always be that minority who complain.’

Pulis admits it was difficult at first but a good dose of bloody-mindedness helped, and he believes McLeish has the same characteristics to ride the storm.

‘It’s difficult but you have to be strong,’ he added. ‘You don’t waste time and energy worrying about things you can’t affect. I knew it was going to be that way when I came back — the good thing was that I’d managed this club before, I knew what I was letting myself in for.

Not a fans

Not a fans” favourite: Alex McLeish has struggled to be accepted by some of the Villa fans

‘The other thing was that I had a chairman who would be in the same position — he was going to get criticised for me coming back. You have letters, and it can build to a level that eventually forces you out.

‘But I’m a little bit bloody-minded, and Alex is bloody-minded, isn’t he’