Roy Keane a favourite to replace Paul Lambert in Aston Villa hotseat
Less than three months after his departure from the club as assistant manager, Roy Keane is among the favourites to take over the vacant hotseat at Aston Villa.
The Midlands club announced tonight the departure Paul Lambert in a short statement after poor run of results has seen the club drop into the relegation zone.
The current Republic of Ireland assistant manager only took up the role with Villa last summer, but quit in November to concentrate on his international position.
"Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland, and combining my commitment to these, has become too much," he said at the time.
"I'd like to thank Paul for giving me a great opportunity to come to a brilliant football club."
Keane has made no secret of his ambitions to manage again and Paddy Power have installed him as fourth favourite to replace the Scot at 10/1, the same price as Brian Laudrup.
Tim Sherwood (6/4) is the favourite to land the role, ahead of Jurgen Kilnnsmann (7/10) but the Irishman is thought to be in the running despite rumours of fallouts with senior players at the club.
Whoever takes over will have a big task to rebuild confidence at the club.
A 1-0 win over Liverpool in September took them to second place in the table and shortly after Lambert signed a new contract extension.
But Villa's season soon collapsed including a dismal run of 659 minutes without a Premier League goal which ended in a defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Nevertheless Villa chiefs showed every sign of resisting the growing unrest among Villa fans and keeping faith in the Scot despite their plunge into the relegation zone.
Lambert remained defiant after Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat at Hull, during which some Villa fans unfurled banners calling for his removal.
He insisted: "You can't feel sorry for yourself - you've got to pick yourself up and go again."
But the miserable defeat to the Tigers clearly convinced Lambert's previously loyal backers that it was time to look elsewhere in a bid to keep them in the top flight.