Tim Sherwood appears to be winning over the Aston Villa fans with his first few moves in charge, with his decision to bring former club favourite Kevin MacDonald back to the West Midlands as his assistant manager met with widespread praise.
MacDonald first joined Villa in 1995 during the reign of Brian Little and would go on to develop a first-rate reputation for helping push talent through the club’s ranks in a number of different roles.
The Scot also assumed the role of caretaker boss in August 2010 following the sudden resignation of Martin O’Neill and, despite recording just two wins in his eight games in charge, there was strong support for him to get the job on a permanent basis before the appointment of Gerard Houllier the following month.
After leaving the club following Paul Lambert’s arrival in June 2012, the former Villa reserves boss would go on to have a brief 14-game spell managing Swindon Town, before leaving the League One side in the summer of 2013 for “personal reasons”.
He had been working at Nottingham Forest since the summer as lead professional development phase coach, and the combination of him and Sherwood should serve as fantastic news for the fledging members of the squad, such as Jack Grealish and Callum Robinson, who are aiming to establish themselves in the first-team.
One Villa player who MacDonald helped bring through is on-loan Forest midfielder Gary Gardner, who, in leading the tributes on Twitter, looks like he can’t wait to get back to Birmingham to start working under him again.
Good to see kevin macdonald back,brings experience,knowledge of the club and its youth development #avfc— PAUL RAYBOULD (@PJR1981) February 20, 2015
Good to have Kevin Macdonald back at #AVFC - hope he works well with Tim Sherwood. Now for some goals and a win against Stoke tomorrow.— bruce_mac (@theGOLFollower) February 20, 2015
I love the fact that Kevin MacDonald is back at Villa #avfc— Mike Comerford (@ComerfordMike) February 20, 2015
Glad to hear Villa has announce Kevin MacDonald is the club as our assistant manager. Tim Sherwood got a good team round him now. #avfc— Dan Harris (@dan04harris) February 20, 2015
Very nice to see Kevin MacDonald as the assistant manager, things are really starting to look up #avfc— Thomas Woodhouse (@AVFCWoody) February 20, 2015
Kevin Macdonald is a very clever pick by Sherwood. Proper football man and players from the past cannot praise him enough. Great pick #avfc— Ben Nall (@BenNall79) February 20, 2015
Excellent move from Sherwood to bring Kevin MacDonald back as assistant. Let's hope it works out. #AVFC— Thomas Jones (@TJVillan) February 20, 2015
Sherwood has brought a top man in with Kev MacDonald I'm excited about it #avfc— Keith a (@keithvillan) February 20, 2015
Very pleased that Kevin MacDonald is back at #avfc.— Graham Owen (@GrahamMilesOwen) February 20, 2015
Fantastic to have Kevin MacDonald back at the club! Did so well with the reserves and bringing through the academy boys. #AVFC— David Hitchings (@OfclHitchings) February 20, 2015
I think Sherwood's decision to bring MacDonald back to the club is a smart one. Has great knowledge and passion and will be a boost! #AVFC— Jason K Moore (@JasonKAM) February 20, 2015