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Black: It is not fun being Aston Villa boss

Eric Black only knows defeat. Credit: PA

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black admits he has not enjoyed being in charge of the sinking club.

The 52-year-old has lost his four games since taking over from Remi Garde last month and Villa were relegated from the Barclays Premier League on his watch two weeks ago.

I've got to be honest - I don't think there's been a lot of enjoyment.

I don't want it to sound like I'm looking for sympathy because I'm not but there's a lot of negativity around, especially over the last seven or eight weeks and that has made it hard.

This is not a normal job in football, you're not working with normal football elements here.

But the elements are what they are and I'm caretaker manager so I will do what I can to make sure it remains professional and hopefully get a result Saturday.

– Eric Black


Agbonlahor quits as Aston Villa captain

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Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has stepped down as the club's captain following his latest suspension.

Agbonlahor also apologised for his actions in recent weeks, which saw him pictured partying hours after the club had been relegated.

The forward released a statement on Instagram:

I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore.

This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it.

My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals, shows my loyalty to Aston Villa.

I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I'm hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.

I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die!

– Gabby Agbonlahor

Lescott needs to perform for Aston Villa fans - Black

Joleon Lescott is not a popular man. Credit: PA

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black has told Joleon Lescott the only way to repair his fractured relationship with the club's furious fans is to perform.

The defender was one of the players singled out by angry supporters in Saturday's 4-2 defeat to Southampton.

In their first game since relegation from the Premier League was confirmed, home fans turned on Villa early.

Lescott was abused after a mistake almost allowed Shane Long to score before he eventually lost Long for the Saints' opener.

That will be up to performances on the pitch. There is no other way to turn the fans around.

But I can't point the finger at Joleon Lescott because of his attitude or his desire to be in the team so I give him credit for that.

He's an extremely professional individual and you'd have to ask him how he feels. He's never said anything to me (that it is too much for him).

Obviously I'd have to look at the whole game again to see if that's the case but he's not voiced anything like that to me.

He's a very experienced footballer and it won't get too much for him. He's part of the team, we have to remain a group and these are not easy circumstances.

– Eric Black


Aston Villa player left out after refusing bench role

Jores Okore didn't want to be a substitute. Credit: PA

Defender Jores Okore has been banished from the Aston Villa first-team squad after refusing to take his place on the bench for their clash with Bournemouth a fortnight ago.

The Dane told caretaker boss Eric Black he wouldn't be a substitute and hasn't featured in a match day squad since.

This petulance is the latest in a long line of player issue that Villa have suffered this season. Striker Gabby Agbonlahor is currently suspended by the club for the second time this season.

Black said: "Jores said he didn't want to be considered on the bench (against Bournemouth), which I found surprising.

"After that he said he didn't want to be considered for any of the games going forwards. He has gone to the under-21s."

Aston Villa suspend striker Agbonlahor

Agbonlahor has been suspended by Aston Villa. Credit: PA

Aston Villa have suspended striker Gabriel Agbonlahor pending an investigation into off-field matters.

The action comes following allegations concerning his conduct in a national newspaper.

Agbonlahor, 29, had been out of the immediate first-team picture having been placed on a fitness programme by caretaker manager Eric Black.

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