ASTON VILLA have followed Derby’s lead by appointing a new manager.
The Championship outfit have handed the top job to former Birmingham boss Steve Bruce.
Bruce replaces Roberto di Matteo at Villa Park and will be tasked with stopping the rot following their relegation from the Premier League last term.
The Villans sit 19th in the second tier after 11 games and are one spot above Derby who appointed Steve McClaren as their new manager hours earlier.
Bruce had been looking for a job since leaving Hull just before the start of the season.
Bruce said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity. It is one of the big clubs of this country. To be given the opportunity to manage it is terrific.
“I relish the challenge of trying to take the Club where it wants to go and needs to be – and try to turn around the misfortune we seem to have had over the past few years.
“I am absolutely delighted to have been given the chance. I hope I can do my stuff.”
Owner Dr Tony Xia said: “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to the football Club. With his track record, not only at leading teams to promotion from the Championship but also vast experience in the Premier League, I believe we have secured the services of an excellent manager.
“I have had good conversations with Steve and we look forward to working with him.”
McClaren pulled a dramatic U-turn in returning to Derby 17 months after getting the axe.
He said: “I am excited to be back.
“I regret how my time at Derby ended back in 2015 and I am very motivated to put things right for the club and our supporters.
“My ultimate aspiration remains exactly what it was before, to take Derby County back to the Premier League.”