Villa holding talks with Guzan

Guzan will start against Bolton and fill the gap left by Shay Given

who will be sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury. The

United States international has had few opportunities since joining

Villa three years ago because of the form of Brad Friedel and now

Given. But Villa boss Alex McLeish has faith in the ability of

Guzan whose current deal runs out next summer. He said: “This is a

challenge for Brad now, coming in, and a good opportunity for him

to show how good a goalkeeper he is. “Hopefully we can defend well

enough so that they (Bolton) don’t get to him too much. “But we

know that in a game, he’ll have to come to the fore and we believe

in him and we’ve got good faith in him. “He’s extremely unlucky to

have been understudying some great goalkeepers, but now his chance

has come.” McLeish admitted: “Brad did hint that possibly he was

looking to go elsewhere and play first team football but, even

before Shay got injured, we told him we needed him and we valued

him. “We’d been talking about a new contract and I guess that will

probably be talked about in the coming few weeks.” McLeish is

expecting a positive response from his players at the Reebok

Stadium after the home setback against Manchester United. He said:

“We’ve been over the United game again and there is some basic

stuff we can do much much better. “At the same time, we are getting

some good performances – but I am looking for some outstanding

performances. “The gauntlet is down. We give players an opportunity

and they have to show us they can be outstanding for this club. “We

have to be prepared and leave no stone unturned in asking the

players what we want of them and it’s up to the players to execute

that on the pitch. “The experienced players definitely care.

They’ve got a pride, they’ve been there for a long, long time.

“It’s about trying to instil the winning mentality and winning

toughness into some of the young lads as well.” McLeish is aware of

the pressure for success in the Premier League and coming under the

media spotlight and understands the approach of Chelsea boss Andre

Villas-Boas this week to criticism. He said: “The Premier League

has a massive profile. Failure is monstrous and the margins of

success and failure can be minuscule but the consequences are

enormous. “The social networks and phone-ins have evolved and have

made it a blame and knee-jerk culture. “You’ve got to deal and live

with it. That’s just the way it is. You keep your powder dry until

you have a moment like Andre Villas-Boas the other night. “If I was

to listen and read everything, the shoulders would be hunched.

Because of what people tell you you are aware of what’s out there

but why listen or read that? “It would not help any individual at

all. No one would like reading that about themselves. There’s

valuable info through criticism, definitely and you can learn from

it. “It’s a little bit tactical as well, creating a siege mentality

of, ‘They’re all against us.”‘