There were claims over the weekend that Aston Villa owner Tony Xia was considering replacing Roberto di Matteo with Steve McClaren.

Villa made it only one win in 12 games all season on Saturday as they lost 2-0 at Preston, the travelling fans singing ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ to their under pressure manager.

The supporters got it half right, with Tony Xia sacking di Matteo but waiting until the Monday morning to do it.

The club releasing an official statement saying they had been forced to act with Aston Villa only two points above the relegation zone in 19th place.

Di Matteo/Villa spent almost £50m in the summer so no wonder the owner has lost patience, though for Newcastle fans it would be very much an added bonus/sideshow to this season, if Steve McClaren is indeed appointed.

Villa’s statement says another former Newcastle United employee, Steve Clarke, will take charge for the time being, as no doubt they look to appoint somebody within this international break.

Steve McClaren recently turned down a backroom job at QPR and you must wonder if somebody has had a word in his ear about a job at either Aston Villa or Derby.

Aston Villa official statement:

Aston Villa Football Club has today parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo.

The Club decided to act following a run of disappointing results which has the left the team occupying 19th position in the Championship.

The Club would like to place on record its appreciation to Roberto for all his efforts in helping rebuild the squad and wish him well for the future.

Steve Clarke will take over as caretaker manager during the search for a new manager.

There will be no further comment from the Club.’