EMPICS Sport A dejected Bruce last night.
Out of work

Aston Villa sack Steve Bruce hours after fan throws cabbage at him

The Birmingham club lie 12th in the Championship table after last night’s draw with bottom-placed Preston.

STEVE BRUCE HAS been sacked as Aston Villa manager less than five months after leading them to the Championship play-off final.

Despite having to deal with a reduced budget last term, Villa finished fourth in the second tier before falling at the final hurdle — losing 1-0 to Fulham at Wembley and being consigned to another year out of the Premier League.

Reports in pre-season suggested Bruce’s job was in danger when the club was taken over by new owners, but he was given the chance to stay on and get Villa back into the top flight.

But Tuesday’s 3-3 draw at home to Preston North End  proved the final straw, leaving Villa with one win in 10 across all competitions, while the match was marred by an incident which saw Bruce targeted with a cabbage thrown from the crowd.

“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,” reads a Villa statement.

“The process to appoint a new manager is under way. Kevin MacDonald, Aston Villa U23s manager, will be in charge of the team for our trip to Millwall on Saturday.”

Bruce’s Villa exit is the latest chapter in a managerial career which has failed to reflect the former Manchester United defender’s success as a player.

Promotions with Birmingham City and Hull City represent Bruce’s sole honours in a journeyman path through English football, which has seen him come and go from nine different jobs in 20 years.

As well as the above clubs, he has also had spells at Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic, Crystal Palace and Sunderland, while an FA Cup runners-up medal in 2013-14 while at the Hull helm is the closest Bruce has come to lifting a major trophy.

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