Simon Grayson outlines why Aston Villa in particular will struggle in the Championship

The former Villa defender and outsider candidate for the manager's job says the club will be there to be shot at next season.

Former Aston Villa defender Simon Grayson has warned the club that the fact they are seen as a traditional 'big' club playing at a prestigious ground will make them the side every club wants to beat in the Championship, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.

Barry a minor miracle, Villa's relegation will finally be confirmed on Saturday at Old Trafford after a dismal Premier League season during which they have won three times and sacked two managers.

Along with traditionally strong clubs such as West Ham United and Leeds United, there has been some suggestion that Villa will be one of the biggest teams ever to be relegated from the Premier League when their fate is confirmed.

The Birmingham club are likely to be hit with a monumental culture shock when they embark upon their first season outside the top flight in nearly 30 years.

Grayson, who played 64 times in two years for Villa in the late 1990s, has warned that not only will the hectic schedule of the second tier be difficult for the club to adapt to, but they will be the team in the division that every opponent is desperate to beat.

The 46-year-old, who is currently in charge at Championship side Preston North End, told the Birmingham Mail: "They will not find any easy games and it is relentless. You play eight more games in the Championship than the Premier League, more Saturday and Tuesday games.

"They’ll be a big fish in the division so everybody will enjoy going to their ground. It will make it even harder for them, as everybody wants the scalps of beating these teams. It is mouth-watering... for the teams in the Championship.

"So when you are a big team dropping down a division, whether that is from the Premier League to the Championship or the Championship to League One, you have to work hard with the right group of players."

Villa are certain to undergo a big overhaul in the summer as they prepare for life outside the top flight, and they are expected to makes wholesale changes to their squad.

Before that, however, there is the huge question of who to appoint as successor to Remi Garde, with Eric Black currently taking charge of the side on a caretaker basis.

Though Nigel Pearson is thought to be the frontrunner at the time of writing, Grayson's name has been whispered as an outside choice to try to steer the club back to the big time next season.

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