16/09/2011 17:22 +0100 – Villa will be without Heskey for up to three weeks after he picked up a hamstring strain in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Everton, meaning McLeish may alter his 4-2-3-1 system in which the former England man played just off lone striker Darren Bent with Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor out wide. Asked if he may tinker with his formation on Saturday, McLeish said: "Possibly. We have options with the players that can come in. "There's some players really champing at the bit to get into the team. "When you have injuries or suspensions it's an opportunity for another player and any player who comes in has to grab that opportunity." He continued: "[Barry Bannan] is looking for a start. There are a few looking for a start. "Marc Albrighton has been really bright in training. He came back after his holidays having had an extra week off and I think he felt he was doing a little bit of catch-up on the other players but he needed that rest and I think that will tell in the second half of the season and Marc will be much stronger for that. "Right now he's pushing for a place because his training performances have been absolutely outstanding. "We'll try to decide what we think is the best XI to go out and hopefully get the three points against Newcastle." Villa won their opening home game of the season 3-1 against Blackburn last month and McLeish is hoping his players will establish Villa Park as a fortress this term. "I expect us to win more games than not here at Villa Park," he said. "We know how precious three points are in this Barclays Premier League and we'll be going all out for the three points against Newcastle United. "We want to start picking up victories. That's the challenge to myself and the players and they're capable of doing that. "They know they've been a little bit unlucky on one or two occasions. In the first half last week we were not ourselves at all. "The second half was much better and they have to take the positives from that second half into this game." He added: "That's the bread and butter - your home games. We really want to try to close that gap between us and Newcastle. That's our goal." Alan Pardew's Magpies have started the campaign impressively and head to the Midlands in fourth spot having collected eight points - two more than Villa - from their four games so far. "Alan's done a great job," McLeish acknowledged. "They got a precious point the other night [Monday's 0-0 draw at QPR] when maybe they weren't at their best. "That tells you something about their character. We face a tough battle, no doubt about it." McLeish was pleased with the character shown by his own team last weekend - and also more than satisfied with the quality he has in his ranks after joining the club from arch-rivals Birmingham over the summer. "I really have been pleased with the players' attitude and application," he said. "Last week I saw something else and that was bottle. The bottle in the second half... I was wondering if I was going to see that and I saw it in abundance." He continued: "I've been impressed by one or two players that I never thought were as good as they are. That's been a big plus and a bonus for us." McLeish insisted he never considered signing Scott Dann or Roger Johnson from Blues after seeing close up the ability of Villa centre-backs Richard Dunne and James Collins. "There are great players here. People were saying I was probably going to go back [to Birmingham] and sign Scott, sign Roger," he said. "To be honest, that was one position that wasn't a priority because of the prowess of the two guys I have here - and young Ciaran Clark there to back them up, who looks like he's going to be a top player also. "I've seen Richard Dunne over the years and [assistant manager] Peter Grant knows James Collins very well. We felt we were looking to strengthen the squad but it certainly wasn't going to be in that position."