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By ESPN Staff

Villa give MacDonald two games to earn job

Aston Villa will give caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald two matches to prove whether he has the ability to take over as permanent manager at the Premier League club, according to reports.

• Bradley reiterates interest

MacDonald stepped up from assistant to caretaker when Martin O'Neill suddenly resigned in the week leading into the season, and MacDonald has overseen a brilliant 3-0 home win against West Ham and a shocking 6-0 reverse at Newcastle in his two Premier League matches in charge. He also took a young team to Rapid Vienna and earned a 1-1 draw in their Europa League play-off first leg.

Given the contrast of those results, chairman Randy Lerner and CEO Paul Faulkner want to give MacDonald more time to prove his worth, firstly in the return leg against Rapid on Thursday and then at home to Everton on Sunday. According to reports, MacDonald will be offered the job on a permanent basis if he earns positive results in those two games.

The club's willingness to settle on MacDonald, a popular figure at Villa but unproven as a top flight manager, is partly due to the lack of quality candidates for the job. Perpetual candidate Sven Goran Eriksson has been linked to the vacancy while United States coach Bob Bradley has emerged as a favourite after expressing his interest on a number of occasions.

Despite now being favourite to stay on as Villa boss, MacDonald hasn't officially put his hat in the ring for the job, citing the unwanted pressure as a potential roadblock to his acceptance of the offer if it comes.

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