The Scot was put in caretaker charge of the club last month following Remi Garde's departure.
Aston Villa caretaker boss Eric Black has revealed that he has been told he should expect to remain in charge of the club for the final three games of the season as the board conduct their search for a new manager.
Black, 52, originally joined Villa from Rotherham United in late January to work as a first-team coach under Remi Garde, but he has since overseen their past four matches following the Frenchman’s departure last month.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding a potential sale of the club, reports have recently claimed that Nigel Pearson is edging closer to the job after holding a second round of talks with chairman Steve Hollis [h/t The Mirror], but it now looks as though it will not be until the summer before Garde’s permanent successor is named.
Asked at his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s trip to Watford how long he expects to remain in charge, Black told reporters: “Until the last game of the season, yeah. The sooner obviously we can get someone that’s directing and going forward with the club and making key, key decisions then the better, but I think it’s more important that the club get the right individual.
“Now, if that’s the night before the Arsenal game or if that’s on 1 July, then I think where this club is now we need to make the right appointment.
“The sooner the better, certainly, in terms of shaping the squad and getting preseason organised and assessing the squad, but I think that first and foremost it has to be right individual.”
Already-relegated Villa currently languish 15 points from safety at the bottom of Premier League with three games remaining, having suffered 10 straight defeats and won just three of their 35 matches, while also scoring a division-low 25 goals.
After a season marred by awful results, boardroom upheaval, disciplinary problems among the squad and supporter unrest, it would be understandable if some potential managerial candidates were put off the job, but Black still believes the board will have their fair share of options to choose from.
“I’ve spoken to one or two individuals [about the job] but not anyone who’s a potential candidate,” Black said at his press conference. “I think it’s a wonderful club that has maybe just bottomed out is now heading in the right direction. But again, it will be key appointments that will ensure it goes in the right way.
"I’m sure a new manager coming in – and one or two new players coming in – brings the supporter slightly back on side as well, which I know they’re working very hard to do.
“So with all those elements, I think it’s still an extremely attractive football club and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of good quality people involved.”