David O'Leary is in defiant mood as he prepares to ride the storm threatening his tenure as Aston Villa manager.

Having heard travelling Villa fans call for him to go during Saturday's 4-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, O'Leary met with chairman Doug Ellis and operations director Steve Stride after the game.

But, despite a third straight away defeat in the space of eight days, O'Leary insisted that their exchange of views within Goodison's corridors of power was no more than any ordinary post-match meeting.

And the Villa boss insists that he remains passionately committed to the cause, as frustrated as any fan by the embarrassing length of time it is taking for the old order to change, for Ellis to find a suitable buyer to take over the reins of the Midlands' top club.

"I don't feel under any more pressure than this job usually entails," said O'Leary. "Somebody else can come in but they'd just find themselves with the same problems I've got to contend with.

"The chairman knows exactly what I've been saying for a long time. He knows what the reality is and what we need.

"We still have to go with what we've got until things change."

It may have been something of an eye opener for O'Leary to find himself having suddenly replaced Ellis as No 1 on the fans' 'hit list.'

In the current climate, it would count for a lot more if Villa fail to beat the Premiership's worst travellers Fulham [2014] 1-0 victors over league leaders Chelsea yesterday - next weekend and even more fans choose to vent their spleen.

Chairman Ellis sidestepped the issue. "I'm maybe a little old fashioned," he said. "But I've had those sort of questions for the past 37 years and I don't answer them."

But to O'Leary, pointing to the mood swings among football supporters, it is water off a duck's back. And he prefers to draw comparison with the criticism Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren took when Villa won 4-0 up at the Riverside in January. One fan even ran on to the pitch and threw his season ticket in the Boro boss's face.

"That's fans now," said O'Leary. "I saw what happened at Middlesbrough, it comes to us all and you've got to get on with it.

"There is great expectation at this club; there has been from the first day I arrived. But I can't give any more than I am.

"I know what we can do to put it right. I just do the best I can with what I've got and will continue to do that.

"We've reduced the wage bill to one of the lowest in the Premiership but we've got to balance that now by bringing in a few players.

"But, with the way the club is at the moment, we can't even do loans. Take Eirik Bakke in January.

"We're in a certain period with the club and we're making life very hard for ourselves. But we have to wait.

"The youngsters we've got will do this club proud in years to come. What we've got do is integrate the players I want to bring in. And only time will tell if I'm able to do that. I don't think there's too many we need. Just key men in certain departments that would improve us immensely.

"I know what this club could achieve with the right ammunition.

"Look at Everton and what they're doing. I'd have liked James Beattie in my team. I wanted to sign him a year back but I couldn't do that and that is the way it has gone for us.

"I want to leave a good solid base whenever I leave, whether it be in one year, two years or five years. "But it's not my way to spit my dummy out. I'm more concerned with biting the bullet. And, with eight games to go, we're still not safe this season."

O'Leary is hopeful that Aaron Hughes and Kevin Phillips will be back training early this week following the virus that has hit the club.

But he is not expecting to see James Milner return until Thursday.