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Aston Villa suspend management duo; Given and Cowans to assist boss Lambert

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By James McLean

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Aston Villa have suspended their assistant manager and head of football operations pending an internal investigation, reports BBC Sport.

Shay Given

The Midlanders did not publically reveal the reason for suspending Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa, but have promoted former midfielder Gordon Cowans and reserve goalkeeper Shay Given to assist manager Paul Lambert on a temporary basis.

Culverhouse and Karsa both arrived at Villa just behind Lambert’s appointment in June 2012, having already worked with the former Norwich boss at Carrow Road, as well as at Colchester and Wycombe.

When speaking about the incident, Lambert was keen to emphasise the positives rather than focus on the pair being suspended, instead shifting the focus onto his new right hand men: “I'm delighted to have Gordon and Shay to assist me in preparing the team for Saturday, which is what the whole group is focused on.”

Former Newcastle keeper Given, who only returned to the club from a loan spell at Middlesbrough in January, is relishing the opportunity despite the acrimonious circumstances surrounding the personnel movement, saying: “As players, it's important that each and every one of us take responsibility right now and I'm delighted to play my part in helping the manager and the team go and try to win on Saturday.”

Cowans featured in 168 consecutive games for Villa between 1979 and 1983, during which time the Villa Park outfit won the league and a European Cup.

Villa currently sit 14th in the table, only four points ahead of the relegation zone, and while manager Lambert has been keen to play down any fears that the club may drop out of the Premier League for the first time four straight defeats in their last four games will surely add to any pressure being felt in the manager’s office.

UPDATE: Aston Villa's official website have published a statement, which reads:

"The Club can also confirm in response to media speculation that Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa have been suspended pending an internal investigation."

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