Kevin MacDonald: Aston Villa caretaker wants unity after Steve Bruce exit

Aston Villa fans react to manager Steve Bruce during their 3-3 draw with Preston - his final game before being sacked
Aston Villa fans react to manager Steve Bruce during their 3-3 draw with Preston - his final game before being sacked

Aston Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald has called for unity after Steve Bruce had a cabbage thrown at him before his final game as manager.

Bruce was sacked following a 3-3 draw with bottom club Preston that left Villa 12th in the Championship table.

The 57-year-old had been under increasing pressure from fans.

"They're obviously disappointed at the position we're in, but the important thing is they support the club through thick and thin," MacDonald told BBC WM.

"But [it will really help] if they get back behind the players and that's what the players want.

"I imagine most of the players will be disappointed about the manager losing his job, one or two will be less disappointed because they'll feel that they have a second chance.

"Ultimately the players have to play for the supporters because it's the supporters that'll be here in many years to come."

Permanent Villa managers since Martin O'Neill
AppointedManagerLeft
October 2016Steve BruceOctober 2018
June 2016Roberto Di MatteoOctober 2016
November 2015Remi GardeMarch 2016
February 2015Tim SherwoodOctober 2015
June 2012Paul LambertFebruary 2015
June 2011Alex McLeishMay 2012
September 2010Gerard HoullierJune 2011

MacDonald, the club's under-23s coach, takes charge of a Villa side that have won just once in nine league matches for Saturday's trip to Millwall.

It is the third time the Scot, 57, has been placed in temporary control of the first team, having stepped in when Martin O'Neill resigned in 2010 and Tim Sherwood was sacked three years ago.

"It's odd and also disappointing because every time I've done this it's because people have lost their jobs," MacDonald explained.

"From my point of view it's a great honour but in the wrong circumstances.

"Hopefully our players will see this [game against Millwall] as an opportunity to impress somebody new coming in".