Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish says finding a replacement for Roy Aitken is crucial to their plans.
Aitken has joined Dubai-based Al Ahli as assistant to David O'Leary, with whom he worked at Leeds United and Villa.
He has been given the green light to recruit for the post of joint first-team coach, effectively his right-hand man alongside Andy Watson, and it looks likely that Ricky Sbragia, from Sunderland, will be installed.
"It's important, especially when we have worked so hard to build it up," McLeish told the Birmingham Mail. "Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu worked to get us the new sports science/fitness coach, Nick Davies, who has fitted in brilliantly.
"They worked hard to get us Malky Thomson on the reserve side of it before that and we've announced a new physiotherapist too after Tim Williamson went back to Celtic.
"So there's been great progress made. And, to be honest, just when you think everything is nice and rosy something like this - Roy going - happens.
"But that's football - you have got to move forward. Nothing is forever."