O'Neill, who spent four seasons at Villa Park prior to his departure in 2010, will return to the club for the first time since taking over at the Stadium of Light this afternoon. However, McLeish maintains that his focus is elsewhere.
"We have to up our game after last weekend against Manchester United," he said.
"It is not a case of getting one over on Martin O'Neill. For me it's about winning.
"I will breathe easier if we get the three points and we are capable of doing it. We have some more experience back in the team this weekend."
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are six points clear of the relegation places.