Agbonlahor - Flak affects players
Villa striker calls on supporters to get behind manager McLeish
Last Updated: March 8, 2012 11:10am
Gabriel Agbonlahor has admitted that Aston Villa's players are feeling the strain of manager Alex McLeish being under fire from the club's fans.
The Villa boss has never been able to win over sections of supporters since making the controversial move across the city from local rivals Birmingham last summer.
But there has been outright hostility vented on recent occasions towards the Scot, most notably in the goalless draw at Wigan 12 days ago.
And striker Agbonlahor has called on everyone associated with the club to get behind McLeish in a bid to lift Villa further away from the Premier League relegation zone.
"It does have an impact on the players and does affect them when fans are not backing the manager and not turning up in games."
Gabriel Agbonlahor Quotes of the week
"The fans are entitled to their opinions but the chairman (Randy Lerner) has made a choice in bringing the manager here and everyone has got to get behind him," he said.
"I think it affects the players otherwise. You only have to look at the situation at Blackburn where Steve Kean has been getting a lot of abuse.
"It does have an impact on the players and does affect them when fans are not backing the manager and not turning up in games.
"He has come in at the start of the season and fans need to give him time to work his ideas through the club."
Agbonlahor added: "In previous years the fans have got behind the team no matter what and that helps the players.
"If they really get behind the team and the players, it gives everyone a lift."