John Gregory reacts with delight to Brian Little's Aston Villa return

The former Villa manager, who served as Little's assistant, says it is long overdue that his predecessor was given a new role at the club.

Former Aston Villa manager John Gregory has told the Birmingham Mail that he is delighted by the appointment of club legend Brian Little to the boardroom staff.

The club confirmed on Friday an earlier report that Little, alongside former FA chairman David Bernstein, would take up a position as a director at Villa Park, sealing a return to the club 18 years after leaving as manager in 1998.

The 62-year-old is regarded as a Villa hero, having spent his entire curtailed playing career with the club, playing over 300 times and winning two League Cups, before leading the club from the brink of relegation to League Cup triumph and a place in the top four.

Little's protege Gregory, who worked under the former star at Leicester City and Villa before taking over the reigns at Villa Park after his predecessor's resignation, told the Birmingham Mail that appointing a man with such connections to the club can only be a good move.

He said: "It’s a pity [the club] weren’t this shrewd about three years ago, but I’m absolutely delighted for him. We've got Sir Mervyn [King] as well, another Villa man who is claret and blue through and through. It’s great to have on the board people whose life is affected by the result on a Saturday.

"I think that’s something that has certainly been lacking. If Villa lose it upsets Brian Little’s life even to this day. I think having someone like Brian on the board is only going to benefit the club.

"It’s something that has been lacking at Villa Park. It will be too late for this season to have any immediate effect on the team, but I’m really pleased. He’s an absolute legend at Aston Villa, having played for the club, worked for the youth team and come back as a manager and done such a great job."

As alluded to by Gregory, the claret and blue club also have a lifelong Villa fan on their board after appointing King, a former Governor of the Bank of England, earlier this season.

Little recently returned to management by taking over as head coach of the Jersey national team after five years out of football.

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