Villa rule out Taylor comeback

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Aston Villa yesterday confirmed that Stuart Gray and John Deehan will remain as joint caretaker managers until a permanent successor to John Gregory is announced. There had been speculation the former England and Villa manager, Graham Taylor, would be taking charge on a temporary basis until the end of the current campaign.

Taylor, a non-executive director at Villa since leaving management with Watford last season, attended a board meeting at Villa Park yesterday. But it is understood the possibility of him filling the breach after Gregory's departure to Derby County was not an issue which was discussed.

Instead, Taylor, now established as a television and radio pundit, aided the chairman Doug Ellis in beginning the search to find a new manager. A club statement said: "The executive board met today to discuss the procedure involved and the criteria required in the appointment of a new first team manager. Graham Taylor, as a non-executive director with considerable experience in the game, was involved in these discussions."