ASTON VILLA

Steve Bruce set to take the reins at struggling Aston Villa

The former Birmingham boss may not be the most popular choice to lead Villa but any upturn in fortunes for 19th-placed side will be welcomed.

Steve Bruce set to take the reins at struggling Aston Villa
Ed Sykes Reuters

Former European champions Aston Villa are set to name Steve Bruce as their new manager on Wednesday to replace the sacked Roberto Di Matteo, local media reported.

The 55-year-old Bruce, who quit Hull City in July, includes Villa's arch-rivals Birmingham City among his previous jobs.

On Tuesday, club owner Tony Xia wrote on Twitter: "Scheduled to announce the new manager tomorrow! Time for all to stand together and back the team! Believe we've made the best try!"

Assistant coach Steve Clarke has been in charge as caretaker manager during the Midlands club's search for a new coach.

Villa, one of England's traditionally big clubs, are 19th in the 24-team Championship table with 10 points from 11 games.

Di Matteo's 124 days

Di Matteo took over in June after Villa were relegated from the Premier League last season but their disappointing start to life in the Championship saw the Italian sacked after 124 days.

Di Matteo, who steered Chelsea to the Champions League in 2012, managed one win in 11 league matches with Villa. They also lost in the League Cup first round to fourth-tier Luton Town.

The seven-times English champions are in the second tier for the first time since 1988.