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Aston Villa have parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo after just five months.
Despite spending big during the summer, Villa have managed just one win from the opening 11 games in the Championship and Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Preston left them 19th in the two, just two points clear of the relegation zone.
Di Matteo was tasked with guiding Villa back to the Premier League at the first time of asking but won just three games during his 124 days in charge and the Championship club have acted swiftly in the hope of resurrecting their season.
"Aston Villa Football Club has today parted company with manager Roberto Di Matteo," a statement read.
"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."
Di Matteo's sacking means Villa are searching for their fifth manager in a year.
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