Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is launching his search for a fourth manager in less than two years after sacking Alex McLeish 11 months into his reign.

McLeish was axed after Villa came too close for comfort to being relegated from the Barclays Premier League as they stayed up by just two points, and Lerner has criticised the performance levels and results during the Scot's reign.

It was always a calculated gamble to appoint McLeish given his frosty relationship with Villa fans after his spell as boss of Birmingham, and Lerner said: "The most immediate action that we can take is to look carefully at our options in terms of bringing in a new manager who sees the club's potential and embraces our collective expectations."

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