McLeish relieved as Aston Villa secure Premier League status

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McLeish 'relief' at Villa survival

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish was delighted to secure Premier League survival with a draw against Tottenham.

Mathematically Villa could still go down, but with Bolton drawing against West Bromwich Albion, McLeish's side are effectively certain of survival.

Bolton would have to beat Stoke in next weekend's last round of games and Villa lose to Norwich with a 17-goal swing in goal difference for Villa to go down.

"The fact I've come through this I feel I could go through anything," he said.

"It's been a hell of a season, but we've shown some bottle, I'm sure it'll stand us in good stead."

Defeat against Spurs would have left Villa facing an anxious visit to Norwich in the final match of the season but Bolton's draw means the Trotters, who currently occupy the final relegation place, are doomed, barring a miracle.

"It's a relief," admitted McLeish, who suffered relegation last year with Birmingham, and was a far from popular choice to become Villa boss last summer, resulting in constant criticism from large sections of the club's supporters.

The 53-year-old Scotsman revealed he would be making alterations to his squad in the summer, but hinted that financial limitations would be likely to prevent high-profile acquisitions.

"There's a lot to do," admitted McLeish. "We've certainly got plans afoot but we're still going along the lines of the wage level in order that we meet the European criteria.

"[Owner] Randy Lerner and the board have stood steadfast and I've bought into that, tough as it has been."

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