Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of Dean Smith as their new manager, but it seems he has some work to do to get them in promotion contention.
Villa axed Steve Bruce earlier this month and opted for Brentford chief Smith having failed with approaches for Thierry Henry and Rui Faria.
CEO Christian Purslow said: “Dean has a clear and successful coaching philosophy as well as a real understanding of Aston Villa Football Club. He is also knowledgeable about the Championship.”
Villa currently sit in 15th – ten points off the top of the table, and despite Smith’s appointment – that has done little to convince the Bookmakers that they will mount a serious title challenge – indeed they believe his former club Brentford are better placed.
They are currently eighth in the betting for the Championship, behind favourites West Brom who are 9/4, Middlesbrough (11/2), Leeds (11/2), Sheff United (11/2), Brentford (7/1), Nottm Forest (18/1) and Stoke (20/1).
bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “Smith knows the area, he supported the club as a boy and it’s bound to be a popular appointment.
“The Holte End will be singing his name even louder if he guides them to victory over Blues next month.”