Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish to meet Cleveland Browns coach

Alex McLeish

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is heading to the United States to discuss ideas with NFL outfit Cleveland Browns'external-link head coach Pat Shurmur.

Randy Lerner, who owns both clubs, thinks it will benefit Villa, who sit 15th in the Premier League.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "Alex felt this was an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas with his American counterparts."

The Browns won four of 16 games last season to finish bottom of AFC North.

Villa, meanwhile, have won just once in their last six Premier League games, a run that leaves them seven points above the relegation zone.

With the Premier League on a two-week break because of the FA Cup, McLeish is using the time to travel to the States to take part in a brainstorming session with Shurmur about player evaluation, scouting, rehab and training.

He will be joined on the two-day trip to the Browns' base in Berea, outside Cleveland, by assistant manager Peter Grant, fitness coach Adrian Lamb, Dr Ian McGuinness and performance analyst Patrick Riley.

Shurmur, who joined the Browns as head coach last year, has worked with the Philadelphia Eagles and St Louis Rams during his 13 seasons working in the NFL.

McLeish has come under pressure from fans for the club's disappointing form, with a demonstration against the former Birmingham manager on Sunday at Villa Park before the 1-0 defeat by league leaders Manchester City.