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Black day for Rotherham as assistant Eric moves to Villa

Neil Redfearn has spent most of his time at Rotherham looking for new players, but now he must turn his attention to appointing a new assistant manager after the departure of Eric Black.

The Scot, who joined the Millers in the summer as first-team coach, has left his position for an "opportunity he couldn't turn down" at Aston Villa as Remi Garde's assistant.

That leaves a hole in Redfearn's backroom staff and the boss ha spoken to chairman Tony Stewart about a potential replacement.

“He has had an opportunity that he felt he couldn’t turn down and we fully appreciated that, so he goes with everyone’s best wishes,” said Redfearn.

“We want to thank him for all his effort and hard work whilst with Rotherham United, and from a personal point of view I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him. 

“Eric really bought into what I wanted to do here and was very popular with the players and staff. 

“On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to wish Eric all the very best for the future.

“It isn’t easy when people move on but I have spoken to the chairman regarding potential candidates for the role, and we remain focused this week as we prepare for a big game on Saturday.”

Black came to the club in the summer as then-boss Steve Evans wanted to bolster his coaching staff, but he soon found himself taking caretaker reigns following Evans' sacking in September.

He lost his only game in charge - 2-1 defeat to Burnley - but was installed as Redfearn's number two upon after his appointment in October.

And Black, whose coaching resume includes stints at Birmingham, Wigan and Sunderland, is impressed with the Millers manager.

“I have really enjoyed working at Rotherham United and I have met and worked with some terrific individuals," Black said.

“I didn’t know Neil before he arrived but he was brilliant to me from day one. 

"He is an exceptional coach, one of the best I have worked with, and with the support of the chairman and everyone else I am sure he will take the club forward.”

Black leaves to assist Garde at Villa Park. He takes up his position with Villa bottom of the Premier League and staring relegation in the face.

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