Eric Black answers questions on whether he or Steve Bruce would want the Aston Villa job

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Villa's caretaker boss previously worked with the Hull City manager at Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black has insisted that he would not be interested in taking on the job full-time, regardless of how results go over the rest of the season.

Black originally joined Villa from Championship side Rotherham United in January to work as a first-team coach under Remi Garde, but the Frenchman’s departure earlier this week means he is now expected to lead the club through their last seven Premier League games before a new boss is appointed in the summer.

Relegation already looks a certainty with the team currently sitting 12 points from safety at the bottom of the table ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Chelsea, but the Scot is eager to instill some pride and belief back into the squad during the run-in.

Nevertheless, even if he impresses at the helm over the final months of the campaign, the former Motherwell and Coventry City manager still does not see himself filling the vacancy.

Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of his first game in charge whether he would consider throwing his hat into the ring for the job, Black told reporters: “No, I’m focusing purely on tomorrow. I’ve spoken to David [Bernstein, new Villa director] at length. I’ve been given the opportunity to take the team forward until a new manager is appointed and that’s what I’ll do with the best of my ability.

“Everybody has aspirations to be a manager in the industry that I work in. I’ve already had opportunities to do that, as well as opportunities to be an assistant and first-team coach, but I’ve really had no thought about that whatsoever. That’s far from my priority at this point in time whether I put my hat into the ring.

Continuing on managing the club for the rest of the season, Black added: “I just think we’ve got to get some pride back into the club. I would love to take 21 points – that would be ideal – but I think firstly we have to get a bit of credibility back to the club and get everyone that’s associated starting to feel a little bit of pride again about Aston Villa and that we’re heading now in the right direction.

“We’ve got to try and change something. I said to the players on Wednesday that the atmosphere’s been poor in terms of everyone being a bit down with doom and gloom. We’ve got to just take these next seven games and try and get some respect back in the club and show the supporters what it means to the players.

“I can’t do that – I can certainly help that process – but ultimately I won’t be out on the field, so that will be up to the players to show what it means to them. We’ve got seven very competitive games left and we’re not down yet.”

Black has previously had caretaker spells at Birmingham City, Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham, working with Steve Bruce at the former two clubs.

The now Hull City boss, whose side sit fourth in the Championship, is currently being touted as one of the favourites for the Villa job [h/t Mirror], but his former assistant is none the wiser about whether he would be interested in making the move back to the Midlands.

“I’m led to believe he’s got a few challenges of his own at the moment,” Black added at his press conference. “He’s trying to get out of that division for probably about the fourth time, so he’s pretty well focused on that.

“In terms of what’s happening with regards to Aston Villa, I’m no clearer on that than you are.”

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