FORMER Swindon Town boss Kevin MacDonald has been placed in interim charge at Championship side Aston Villa following he sacking of Steve Bruce this afternoon.

MacDonald, Villa's U23 boss, will take charge of the Birmingham side's trip to Millwall on Saturday after Villa confirmed the departure of Bruce and his coaching staff, which included former Swindon Town captain Colin Calderwood, on their official website.

Bruce had come under increasing pressure after Villa's poor start to the season and had a cabbage hurled at him during Tuesday night's home draw with Preston.

Villa are currently 11th in the Sky Bet Championship after winning just three of their first 11 league games this season.

The 57-year-old, who has won promotion to the Premier League twice with two different clubs - Birmingham and Hull - replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Villa Park in October 2016.

"Aston Villa can confirm that manager Steve Bruce and his assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh are leaving their posts with immediate effect after having their contracts terminated. The process to appoint a new manager is under way," the club said.

"We would like to place on record our gratitude to Steve and his team for their hard work and commitment. We wish them well for the future.

"The process of recruiting a new manager has begun. In the meantime, Kevin MacDonald, Aston Villa U23s manager, will be in charge of the team for our trip to Millwall on Saturday."

MacDonald became Town boss in February 2013 and led the team into the League One play-offs following a sixth-placed finish, where they lost on penalties to Brentford in the semi-finals.