Aston Villa sack Steve Bruce after run of bad results

Aston Villa fan launches a cabbage at Steve Bruce during Preston clash

Aston Villa fans slam Glenn Whelan on Twitter after penalty miss

"We would like to place on record our gratitude to Steve and his team for their hard work and commitment".

Last night's 3-3 draw with Preston - in which a cabbage was thrown at Bruce - has left the Championship club 12th in the table with 15 points from 11 games, a far cry from the title challenge many expected.

Villa, who won the European Cup in 1982, were relegated to English football's second tier at the end of the 2015-16 season. "We wish them well for the future", Villa said in a statement.

Aston Villa are preparing to sack manager Steve Bruce. The club added that Bruce's assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh were also departing.

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After failing to secure a return to the top flight in May that would have been worth in excess of £160m, owner Dr Tony Xia was understood to have cash flow problems.

Dean Smith has enjoyed a cracking start to the season with Brentford, and it's the 47-year-old who has emerged as the early bookmakers favourite for the Villa vacancy, ahead of the club's former defender John Terry, and Arsenal icon Thierry Henry who they were hotly linked with in the summer.

Villa was Bruce's ninth different role since starting his managerial career as player-boss at Sheffield United in July 1998.

But the improvement in form has not been forthcoming and Bruce has now been axed by new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

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