Former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce favourite to take over at Reading

Former Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has emerged as the hot favourite for the now-vacant managerial post at Reading.

Steve Bruce (Photo: Will Kilpatrick)
Steve Bruce (Photo: Will Kilpatrick)

Bruce was axed by Villa following a poor start to the season - and was replaced by Dean Smith, who has transformed the mood at Villa Park and put them within touching distance of the play-offs.

The former Blues boss is now 10/3 favourite with some bookmakers to replace Paul Clement, who was relieved of his duties at the Madejski this week.

Bruce famously guided Villa to the play-off final last season, only to lose to Fulham at Wembley before financial struggles struck at B6.

He started the season well, but indifferent form soon struck in the shape of draws with Ipswich, Reading, Blackburn and Bristol City - whilst defeats to Sheffield United, Burton Albion and Sheffield Wednesday left fans calling for change. He was eventually sacked after a chaotic 3-3 draw with Preston at Villa Park.

Smith has since masterminded wins over Middlesbrough, Derby and bitter rivals Birmingham City following his appointment.

Bruce is joined in the running for the Reading job by former West Brom manager Alan Pardew (10/1), whilst Dudley-born manager Sam Allardyce is a rank outsider for the job at 16/1.

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