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Cabbage target Bruce sacked by Aston Villa


London (AFP) – Aston Villa on Wednesday sacked manager Steve Bruce with the club languishing 12th in the Championship after just three wins in 11 games.

Bruce had come under increasing pressure after Villa’s poor start to the season and had a cabbage hurled at him during Tuesday’s 3-3 home draw with Preston.

The 57-year-old, who has won promotion to the Premier League twice with two different clubs — Birmingham and Hull — replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park in October 2016.

“Aston Villa 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 club said in a statement on their website.

“The process to appoint a new manager is under way.”

Bruce led Villa to the Championship Playoff final last season, but missed out on a lucrative return to the Premier League in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham.

After failing to pay a £4 million ($5.2 million) tax bill in June, the club were taken over by billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris in July and heavily invested in a squad built to win promotion.

But after winning their first two league matches, Bruce’s side have fallen off the pace at the top of the table and were dumped out of the League Cup by League One Burton Albion in a run of one win in their last 10 games.

A further statement issued on behalf of the board said: “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.”

Villa, who won the European Cup in 1982, were relegated to English football’s second tier at the end of the 2015-16 season.

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