Aston Villa sack manager Steve Bruce with club 12th in Championship

On Tuesday night Bruce's two-year reign reached a nadir when a cabbage was thrown in his direction by a member of the crowd late on in a dramatic 3-3 draw with bottom-side Preston

Wednesday 03 October 2018 17:47
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Steve Bruce has departed Villa Park after two years
Steve Bruce has departed Villa Park after two years

Aston Villa have sacked Steve Bruce after a turbulent start to the season which has seen one of the Championship’s promotion favourites win only three of their opening 11 league games.

On Tuesday night Bruce’s two-year reign reached a nadir when a cabbage was thrown in his direction by a member of the crowd late on in a dramatic 3-3 draw with bottom-side Preston.

Villa reached half-time 2-0 in front and set to relieve some of the pressure on their manager, but a wild second half saw defender James Chester sent off and Preston quickly turn the match on its head to lead 3-2. Yannick Bolasie equalised for Villa in added time but Glenn Whelan missed a 97th-minute penalty which would have salvaged all three points.

The draw instead left Villa 12th in the table – they would have climbed to seventh with a win – and a bitter mood in the stadium, where chants of “We want Bruce out” could be heard around the ground.

Afterwards Bruce said: “The one thing I’ve always had is the determination to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. I’ll always have a go. If I think it affects the team and the morale of the team, then of course…That’s what I’m up against at the moment. I will battle on. That’s always been my philosophy until told otherwise.”

Steve Bruce faced a backlash from the home fans 

But on Wednesday night the club decided a change was necessary. A statement read: “Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that manager Steve Bruce and his assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh are leaving their posts with immediate effect after having their contracts terminated. The process to appoint a new manager is under way.

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to Steve and his team for their hard work and commitment. We wish them well for the future. The process of recruiting a new manager has begun. In the meantime, Kevin MacDonald, Aston Villa U23s manager, will be in charge of the team for our trip to Millwall on Saturday.”

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