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Bruce replaces Di Matteo as Villa manager

Steve Bruce, who had a successful spell at Villa's local rivals Birmingham, has been without a club since he quit as manager of Hull in July

Aston Villa have appointed Steve Bruce as manager, replacing Roberto Di Matteo who was sacked last week, the Championship club said on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old Bruce, who had a successful spell at Villa’s local rivals Birmingham City, has been without a club since he quit as manager of Hull City in July after leading the team to Premier League promotion with a playoff victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

“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,” Bruce told the club website (www.avfc.co.uk).

Villa appointed Di Matteo in June after their relegation from the Premier League, but sacked the Italian after just 124 days in charge.

The Midlands club are currently 19th in the 24-team Championship table with 10 points from 11 games.

Bruce added: “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.”

Villa owner Tony Xia added: “With his track record, not only at leading teams to promotion from the (second-tier) Championship, but also vast experience in the Premier League, I believe we have secured the services of an excellent manager.”

Chief Executive Keith Wyness told the club website: “In the recent transfer window we focused on character, personality and experience.

“These three words can be applied in spades to Steve Bruce and I look forward to working closely with him as we turn the club around and get us back to where we all want to be.”

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