Aston Villa sack manager Steve Bruce

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

Aston Villa and Preston played out an extraordinary game on Tuesday night.

Aston Villa have sacked manager Steve Bruce, the club have announced. "We wish them well for the future", a club statement said.

Christian Purslow, the chief executive, had always meant to give Bruce until October's global break to mount a revival but results and performances had been a huge disappointment.

Villa confirmed on their website that Bruce and his assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh were leaving their posts with immediate effect after having their contracts terminated.

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In doing so, he became the first player in Major League Baseball history to complete a cycle in the 162nd game of a season. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story hit ninth-inning back-to-back home runs for the Rockies off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen .

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.

Billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris stepped in with "significant investment" and, following reports that ex-France striker Thierry Henry was being lined up for the managerial position, they gave Bruce their public backing.

Former Walsall boss Smith, who grew up a Villa fan in Great Barr, is also in the frame and a popular choice among supporters due to his recent work establishing Brentford as promotion contenders.

So too is Terry, the five-time Premier League victor who spent last season as captain at Villa Park.

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