Villa to seek manager with Premier League experience
Villa will make boss decision soon - MacDonald
Aston Villa have appeared to rule out caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald taking the vacant manager's position.
MacDonald has been in charge since Martin O'Neill resigned on 9 August and said after Sunday's win over Everton he is undecided about taking the job.
But Villa said they wanted to appoint someone in the near future with Premier League experience with MacDonald to continue "until that time".
MacDonald has seen his side win two out of three Premier League games.
But Villa were also thumped 6-0 by Newcastle and knocked out of the Europa League, with star midfielder James Milner also leaving the club for Manchester City.
Even though MacDonald said he would speak to Villa owner Randy Lerner by Tuesday to let him know whether he wanted to take the job on a permanent basis, the club's chief executive Paul Faulkner issued a statement on Sunday evening to explain the board's plans.
In it, Faulkner seemed to underline that MacDonald was appointed as a caretaker only and the club would appoint a new manager in the "near future" following an interview process.
But the insistence on someone with experience of managing in the Premier League could also spell the end for United States coach Bob Bradley's hopes who has admitted he would be interested in the Villa job.
Other names linked with the post have included former Ajax boss Ronald Koeman.
"We are conscious that we have steered clear of openly communicating our thoughts on the search for a permanent manager until this time, as we felt that to do so would undermine both Kevin's and the players' efforts to focus on preparing for these games," the statement said.
"To date, we have immersed ourselves in the process of appointing a new manager and clearly identifying the key criteria this person must meet.
I've enjoyed being able to organise things but I still don't know if it is for me or not
Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald
"Two of the traits we believe are of crucial importance are that candidates have experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad.
"We have thoroughly researched potential candidates and have reached out to a variety of contacts we have within the game for advice and guidance, as well as keeping key staff at Villa Park informed and focused.
"We will now start the process of interviewing candidates we believe meet the key criteria required to manage Aston Villa with a view to making an appointment in the near future.
"Kevin MacDonald will continue as caretaker manager until that time.
"Finally, we wish to make clear that our relative inactivity in the transfer market this window in no way reflects a change in direction or dilution of ambition for the club, but rather our reluctance to make decisions on players without a permanent manager in place."
After the 1-0 win over Everton at Villa Park thanks to a Luke Young goal, MacDonald said: "I've enjoyed being able to organise things but I still don't know if it is for me or not.
"I will now have the chance to collate everything that has happened in the past two weeks and I've got to believe I'm good enough myself. That is what I will think about."
Villa are currently fourth in the Premier League table after three games having also beaten West Ham 3-0 on the opening day of the season.
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