Aston Villa struggling under Alex McLeish

Deja vu creeping up on McLeish as Villa stutter towards Premier League safety

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 April 2012

It's an all-too-familiar feeling for Aston Villa’s under-fire boss Alex McLeish.

His players are dropping out through injury, he can’t buy a win for love nor money and his team are struggling to score goals.

No, this isn’t a re-run of his time with Birmingham City last season, although the statistics are starting to appear uncannily similar. But it might as well be.

Season to forget: Alex McLeish has struggled as Aston Villa boss

Season to forget: Alex McLeish has struggled as Aston Villa boss

But unless Villa can secure a victory from somewhere – starting with Bolton Wanderers’ visit on Tuesday night, his campaign is in danger of having another sour twist.

Saturday’s results dragged those in the relegation zone a good degree closer and though Villa should have enough points on the board to see them over the line, it is that kind of thinking which dragged his former club into the mix on the final day of last season’s campaign.

Bore draw: Aston Villa and Sunderland fought out an uninspiring goalless draw

Bore draw: Aston Villa and Sunderland fought out an uninspiring goalless draw

With just six goals from their last eight games, the portents are not good. As veteran keeper Shay Given admitted afterwards.

‘Wigan have showed that any result is possible,’ he said, ‘we might be five points clear now, but that can change.

‘The fans are getting frustrated. And when you don’t get a victory, that frustration rolls onto the next game. It’s now a huge game against Bolton. We need to win to give us some breathing space.’