New boss Dean Smith sets sights on developing 'the Aston Villa way’

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith has set sights on developing the ‘Aston Villa way’ as he begins work transforming the club’s DNA.

Dean Smith.

The new head coach wants to introduce a clear and consistent philosophy based on attacking and entertaining football, similar to the kind he implemented with success at both Walsall and Brentford.

Smith has been joined at Villa by long-time assistant Richard O’Kelly, together with former skipper John Terry, while the club have also appointed Jesus Garcia Pitarch as sporting director.

He believes the fresh start offers Villa the chance to move in a new direction.

Smith said: “I wouldn’t expect to have a honeymoon period. I’ve been a supporter and you want to be entertained and watching players who will work hard for the shirt. That’s what we want to bring to the football club.

“We want to develop an Aston Villa way. Lots of clubs have philosophies that change from manager to manager and I feel that this is an opportunity now to develop an Aston Villa way, with the staff we’ve brought in, starting with myself, Jesus, Christian and the backroom staff Richard and John.

“It certainly won’t happen overnight, but very quickly we can give players ideas and how we want to do moving forward.

Dean Smith press conference - Matt Maher and Nathan Judah analysis

“It’s important for any club to have a philosophy and recruit head coaches and players for that system.”


Smith took training for the first time yesterday morning, though he faces a wait to meet his entire squad with nine players still away on international duty.

His first game in charge is this Saturday, at home to Swansea, with trips to both Norwich and QPR in the following six days.

Villa sit 15th in the Championship, having won just one of their last 10 league fixtures, a run which ultimately cost Smith’s predecessor Steve Bruce his job.

Smith believes promotion is still a realistic aim this season, claiming the division has rarely been more open.

“I have been in this league now for three or four years. This is the most even I have known it,” he said.

“It’s a challenge because they are sat 15th in the Championship. I know this club, I know the supporters and the demands. We should be higher. That is the challenge. To make sure we improve. It is a realistic aim to be promoted this season. It has to be the aim.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star


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