- Associated Press - Friday, June 17, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (AP) - Alex McLeish has been hired to manage Aston Villa, five days after quitting crosstown rival Birmingham.

Despite fan protests, American owner Randy Lerner appointed the Scot as Villa’s third manager in less than a year.

McLeish says “I know that some of our fans have voiced concerns and I can understand why. It will be up to me to convince you that I am the right man to drive the club forward.”

Although McLeish’s Birmingham was relegated from the Premier League last month, it qualified for the Europa League in February by winning the League Cup, ending its 48-year title drought.

McLeish is replacing Gerard Houllier, who left Villa last week because of heart problems after just nine months in charge.

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