By Harry Sykes
Steve Clarke could be in charge of Aston Villa for their next match against Wolves, according to a reliable journalist.
Clarke was appointed in caretaker charge of Villa on Monday following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, who was axed after the club’s poor start to the season.
Villa announced that Di Matteo’s right-hand man Clarke will run the team during the search for a new manager.
BBC Sport’s Midlands correspondent Pat Murphy revealed on his personal Twitter account on Thursday morning that the club are “relaxed” about the experienced Clarke being at the helm for the Championship showdown against rivals Wolves if they have not got the “right man” by that point.
— Pat Murphy (@patmurphybbc) October 6, 2016
Clarke, who joined Villa in the summer when Di Matteo was appointed, has previously managed West Brom and Reading in addition to holding senior coaching roles at Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea and West Ham.
Villa chiefs revealed in a statement that they had decided to dismiss Di Matteo due to the team’s start to the season, in which they had won just once in 11 Championship matches – against Rotherham on 13 August.
Their next fixture is the West Midlands derby against Wolves at Villa Park on 15 October.
The Guardian claim the leading contenders to permanently replace Di Matteo are Steve Bruce and David Wagner, the manager of high-flying Huddersfield Town.
Bruce would bring with him experience of winning promotion from the Championship while Wagner has made a stunning impact since taking over at Huddersfield in November last year.
German Wagner has steered the Terriers to the top of the Championship table with 25 points from their opening 11 games.
Dr Tony Xia, Villa’s owner, is in China on business and will not be directly involved in the recruitment process until the shortlist is reduced to three.
Di Matteo enjoyed significant backing in the transfer market and spent more than £50m in the summer assembling a squad with a view to securing an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation last season.
In other Aston Villa news, supporters have reacted on Twitter to new Bruce rumours.