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Lescott risks Aston Villa fan wrath again

Joleon Lescott has risked annoying Aston Villa fans again by saying the club's relegation from the Premier League was a weight off the players' shoulders.

Lescott enraged Villa fans in February when he tweeted a picture of a Mercedes supercar in the wake of a 6-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

And the Villa defender courted more controversy after the club's relegation was confirmed on Saturday by a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United - their 24th defeat in 34 league games this season.

Joleon Lescott could be more popular. Credit: PA

"It's about results so regardless of how we played in patches today we are relegated," Lescott was quoted as saying in national newspapers.

"We need to find a way to get out of this run of defeats.

"Now it's confirmed maybe it's a weight off the shoulders and we can give these fans what they deserve, some performances."

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Starting line-ups: Man United v Aston Villa

Agbonlahor told to undergo personal fitness programme

Agbonlahor will train partly with the Under-21. Credit: PA

Aston Villa club captain Gabriel Agbonlahor has been ruled out for two weeks as he undergoes a personal fitness programme.

The forward will train partly with the Under-21s as the club, who could be relegated from the Barclays Premier League at Manchester United on Saturday, try to get him fit.

He was ruled out of Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth after calling in sick with a virus 24 hours before the game.

It was the second straight game he missed after caretaker boss Eric Black left him out of the 4-0 defeat to Chelsea as the club investigated his conduct during a holiday to Dubai last month before taking no further action.

Black said: "After last week I sat down with Gabby on Monday and we agreed to put in place a fitness regime to get him up to speed. I can only control the elements I can control. I have to try to get the best out of the squad I have got and we agreed he wasn't in a condition to be involved."

Aston Villa won't hold player of the year awards

The fans have made their opinion known. Credit: PA

Aston Villa will not hold their player of the season awards this year with the club on the brink of relegation.

There will also be no fans' vote to decide which players deserve to receive awards.

The Barclays Premier League strugglers are 15 points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table with five games left and their drop into the Sky Bet Championship is likely to be confirmed this weekend.

Managerless Villa will be relegated on Saturday if Norwich pick up a positive result against Sunderland in the early kick off or if they lose at Manchester United later in the day.

The club had not considered an awards evening and an Aston Villa spokesman said: "The Club will not be holding its annual Player of the Year Awards at the conclusion of this season. In the current circumstances, we are sure our supporters will understand."

Aston Villa warn staff over redundancies in summer

Aston Villa have warned their staff there will be job cuts due to the club's impending relegation from the Premier League.

Aston Villa are going through a period of uncertainty. Credit: PA

The seven-times top-flight champions said "every effort" would be made to reduce staff numbers through voluntary redundancy, but admitted compulsory redundancies could be necessary.

Saturday's home defeat to Bournemouth all but confirmed Villa's relegation, leaving them 15 points from safety with only that number to play for.

A Villa statement read:

Aston Villa Football Club can confirm it has updated all staff on the proposed changes to the club structure in order to put it back on a firm footing.

These changes will result in a headcount reduction, but every effort will be made through a voluntary scheme, to mitigate as much as is possible, the need for compulsory redundancies.

The objective is to secure a sound financial platform from which the club can rebuild for the benefit of the fans, staff and sponsors. We recognise this is an extremely difficult time for all staff and the club will offer support to all staff affected.

– Aston Villa club statement

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Monk interested in vacant Aston Villa job

Former Swansea boss Garry Monk is interested in the Aston Villa job, according to Press Association Sport.

The 37-year-old is looking to get back into management after leaving Swansea in December, and would not be fazed by the prospect of replacing Remi Garde despite the midlands club's likely relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

Garry Monk is interested in taking the Villa job. Credit: PA

It is believed Monk would relish the chance to help Villa rebuild, having spent 11 years at Swansea and aided their long-term development after joining as a player when they were in League Two.

Villa are weighing up their next move as they search for their fourth manager in 13 months, with Eric Black in charge for Saturday's visit of Chelsea.

Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson and ex-Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes are also in the frame.

Villa are 12 points from safety with just seven games left and appear destined to drop out of the top flight for the first time since 1987.

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