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Attacking streak can win Big Eck more fans.

Byline: JAMES NURSEY

THE STREAKER charging on to the pitch in the 75th minute finally gave Aston Villa fans something to cheer.

The male invader braved the big freeze to enliven proceedings in an indictment of Villa's limited attacking intent.

As he danced between Man City defenders and the stewards, he arguably showed more front and boldness than the home attack.

Villa did rally late on when Carlos Cuellar headed over and City keeper Joe Hart needed to make a good save from Darren Bent.

But Villa were still booed off after the 1-0 loss by their disgruntled fans, around 50 of whom protested against under-fire boss Alex McLeish before the game.

They made their point with derogatory chants and banners, with one reading: "We used to be roaring but now we are snoring."

Attendances are down and yesterday's 35,132 crowd, including a packed-out away end, was well below the 42,788 capacity.

Clearly there remains unhappiness at Scot Big Eck's shock summer switch from relegated arch-rivals Birmingham to Villa.

But McLeish insisted his tactics to nullify City nearly worked and said: "I thought the fans inside the ground were brilliant - they want the players to sweat blood.

"I can't fault the players tonight on their performance or application. We had a gameplan and they did well in executing that. "If you leave yourselves wide open City will destroy you. We were never going gung-ho."

But any armchair Villa fans will hardly be inspired to end their boycott on this evidence as the hosts were content to sit back

A corner in the 42nd minute was about as exciting as it got in the first half. ute was about rst half.

McLeish rightly reiterated that the club is in transition, but he still had that the till had the likes of Robbie Keane, Charles N'Zogbia, Marc Albrighton and Bent to call upon against City.

They showed enough to suggest the dressing room remains behind McLeish, as Richard Dunne injured his shoulder in the line of duty.

But Villa and City's differing ambitions were underlined by the only goal as ex-Villans James Milner and Gareth Barry set up Joleon Lescott.

McLeish believes he has the support of the silent majority of the ty of Villa fans, but the rest need to see his attacking ambitions laid bare before getting off his back.

CAPTION(S):

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2012
Words:421
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