Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory “in advanced talks” over shock role

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Former Aston Villa manager John Gregory is expected to return to English football with Derby County. The 66-year-old globetrotter is reportedly set to join Wayne Rooney in a bid to guide the Rams to the top of the rankings after Phillip Cocu is sacked.

Gregory spent four years at Villa between 1998 and 2002, leading the club to a sixth-place finish and an FA Cup final which they ultimately lost to Chelsea.

He helped Villa qualify for the UEFA Cup in his debut season after an incredible late-season turnaround and had the team at the top of the table for a short time in their second campaign, but watched them hang around.

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Gregory has mainly worked overseas for the past decade – his last job was with Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League after periods of management in Israel and Kazakhstan before a stint at Crawley Town.

But Football Insider claims Derby is “in advanced talks” to bring back Gregory, who was a two-time winning midfielder for the club from the mid-to-late 1980s and manager for a difficult 14 months at the turn of this century.

Rooney became the acting Derby boss after Cuckold’s sacking with the league down side after 11 games.

Gregory retraced his time as a player with Derby in an interview for the club’s website earlier this year.

He said: Key to it all was manager Arthur Cox – he kicked us in the back every day and expected the best from everyone. Arthur never got carried away, whether we lost or won – it kept his feet and our feet on the ground.

“The baseball field was an intimidating place for the opposition.

“It was an incredible transformation to see the state we were in two years ago, but Arthur did a great job and was instrumental in it all.

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