Newcastle's Championship rivals Villa sack Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo

Newcastle United's Championship rivals Aston Villa have sacked manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Villa, beaten 2-0 by Preston North End on Saturday, made the decision after a poor run of results under Di Matteo which have left the club 19th in the league.

By contrast, Newcastle, relegated with Villa last season, are third in the Championship.

Former United coach Steve Clarke has been put in temporary charge at Villa Park.

A club statement read: "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."

Former Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has been linked with the post.

United drew 1-1 with Villa at Villa Park nine days ago.