Alex McLeish was pleased with Aston Villa’s opening day performance, describing their goalless draw at Fulham as a ‘good point’.
The new Villa manager, a controversial appointment having overseen Midlands’ rivals Birmingham’s relegation to the Championship last season, was under pressure to get off to a good start with his new side and was happy to head home with a point from Craven Cottage.
It felt good. I felt there was a good atmosphere, a great reception from the Villa fans as I walked across the field.
It’s one of the toughest places to come and when your own fans don’t like you, I’ve been a victim of that before. Coming off at full-time, giving the fans something to go up the road with, at least a point. It was terrific to be able to walk back across and salute them.
We’ve faced many tough teams but Fulham are a really good side. They know each other inside out. Their movements are tremendous. They’ll be a tough nut for anybody to crack here at Craven Cottage
First half I thought we were excellent, second half we never started well and we had to rely on good defending and some great goalkeeping. His [Given’s] experience tells him when to go into the right positions. You might have seen other goalies diving for one of the two that came point-blank at him, but that’s the experience of a great goalkeeper.
I don’t think it’s fair to say that [Given was solely responsible for the point]. I would never say that. It’s a team game and the team contributed to that point.