McLeish shares MacPhee training ground reveal after interviewing new Aston Villa coach
Alex McLeish has claimed Austin MacPhee could transform Aston Villa after holding talks with the new coaching appointment.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa boss revealed the 41-year-old would bring “different ideas” in training and focus on crossing following his arrival in August.
As quoted by the Birmingham Mail, manager Dean Smith revealed he had wanted a set-piece specialist for a while and that MacPhee was the “outstanding candidate”.
The former Hearts and Northern Ireland coach also works with Steve Clarke and the Scotland national team.
However, McLeish revealed he interviewed the 41-year-old during his spell in the Scotland job.
He lifted the lid on what MacPhee would bring to Villa Park.
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Asked about MacPhee’s arrival at Villa, McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “This is a great question because I actually spoke to Austin as well when I was in the Scotland job.
“He was on the cusp of leaving Northern Ireland at the time and it seemed a very trendy way forward.
“I had Austin in my office and we didn’t quite get around to doing it. It was difficult at the time trying to get the rest of the staff on board. It costs money as well.
Asked what impressed him about in talks with MacPhee, McLeish said: “It was about different ideas at free-kicks, different ideas at corners. There was a lot of it that involved the movement of players in certain ways.
“When you’re trying to execute them in training, everybody’s falling about laughing and things like that. It’s like: ‘Oh, that will never work.’
“Austin does that kind of thing. He likes to encourage crosses in the box as well. When Arsene Wenger came in with Arsenal he stopped just crossing it into the box.
“Van Gaal actually encouraged it. Put it in without looking and it’s up to the forwards to get there on the end of it.”