Collins welcomes MacDonald stance

MacDonald has been in temporary charge of first-team affairs at

Villa Park since Martin O’Neill resigned three weeks ago. The

former Liverpool midfielder has been on the club’s backroom staff

for 15 years and Collins is pleased he now wants to be considered

for the top job. Collins, who is now with his Wales team-mates

preparing for a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, said:

“Kevin has been at the club a long time and has the total respect

of the players. “All the players have worked with him when they

have been coming back from injury in the reserves. “It would be

great for him. There would be no grumblings coming from Aston Villa

and I think he has done a great job. “We have all got the highest

respect for him.” Former Liverpool midfielder MacDonald has had

mixed success since taking over from O’Neill. Victory over West Ham

on the opening day of the Premier League season was followed by a

6-0 thrashing by Newcastle and a Europa League exit at the hands of

Rapid Vienna. His side bounced back, however, with a 1-0 win over

Everton on Sunday and Collins was impressed by the way the Scot

fired up the players. The 27-year-old added: “He told us, coming

off the back of a 6-0, we had to show some fight in front of our

home fans. “He made sure we knew it was a big game. He gave us the

rallying cry and we responded.” Villa now have breathing space to

make an appointment with their next game not until they travel to

Stoke a week on Monday. Collins said: “We haven’t got a game for a

couple of weeks and it’s about time we got something sorted.

“Hopefully it’ll be done by the time we get back.”