Former Carlisle United boss Paul Simpson is back in the hotseat after being placed in joint caretaker charge of Bristol City.

Cumbrian Simpson has stepped up following the Championship club's sacking of boss Dean Holden.

The ex-Blues manager is taking training alongside fellow assistant head coach Keith Downing after Holden paid the price for six straight defeats.

Carlisle-born Simpson and Downing had been brought in to assist Holden six months ago but they could now be at the helm for the 13th-placed Robins' game against Barnsley this weekend.

A statement by Bristol City after last night's 2-0 home defeat to Reading confirmed Holden was being relieved of his duties.

It said: "Following a sixth successive defeat, the Bristol City board have decided that a change of head coach is necessary.

"Assistant head coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing will take charge of training until further notice.

"The club would like to thank Dean for his service to the club over the years and we wish him well for the future.

"There will be no further comment at this stage."

It was a 10th Championship defeat in City's last 13 games.

Former Morton School boy Simpson made his managerial name with back-to-back promotions at home-city club Carlisle in 2005 and 2006 before moving to Preston.

As well as North End, he has managed Rochdale, Shrewsbury, Stockport and Northwich, before joining the national set-up.

He memorably led England's Under-20s to World Cup glory in South Korea in 2017.

The 54-year-old returned to club football with Bristol City last summer.

Simpson is 12/1 with BetVictor to get the Bristol City job permanently, with shorter-odds contenders including Eddie Howe, Paul Cook, Danny Cowley and Mark Hughes.