Taylor takes over at Villa

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa appointed Graham Taylor as their new manager today, after he signed a 30–month contract.

The former Villa and England manager replaces John Gregory, who quit 12 days ago and took over at relegation–threatened Derby.

Taylor had initially refused the job, but agreed to take over from caretaker bosses Stuart Gray and John Deehan. His first match in charge is the home game against Chelsea on Saturday.

Gray said earlier Tuesday he would welcome Taylor's return.

"In being England manager and being with Aston Villa before as well, he would be ideal to come in. I was his captain at Villa so I know all about him," Gray said. "He is a very good motivator, very well organized, has that vast experience which would be a shame to waste and is highly respected in the game."

Aston Villa are seventh in the Premiership.