Championship: Aston Villa appoint Dean Smith as manager

Aston Villa are hoping to start a new era after having sacked former manager Steve Bruce, they have appointed Dean Smith as the new boss, with former Chelsea legend John Terry as his assistant manager. Steve Bruce got sacked on October 3 after a terrible run of just one victory in nine league matches, a very poor start to the season for a team that is aiming to return to the Premier League. Dean Smith has been managing Brentford for the past three seasons and he led them to top-three finishes in each of those campaigns. John Terry had just announced his retirement from football this week after having played for Aston Villa last season.

Aston Villa have also appointed Spaniard Jesus Garcia Pitarch joins as sporting director, he has been director of football at Valencia and Atletico Madrid and led both to triumphs in the UEFA Europa League. New manager Dean Smith is a lifelong Aston Villa fan, while John Terry is well-known in English football after having won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and a Champions League title with Chelsea. Terry also has 78 England caps. Thierry Henry, Brendan Rodgers and former Manchester United assistant Rui Faria were the initial targets for the Aston Villa board to appoint as replacements for Steve Bruce, but all three turned down the opportunity.

"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," said Villa CEO Christian Purslow about the new manager. "John Terry is one of the most decorated players in English football, has an affinity with the club and is ready to make the next step in his career working alongside Dean." Aston Villa came close to a return to the Premier League last summer, they reached the Championship play-off final in May but they lost 1-0 to Fulham and it was the Cottagers who moved up to the top flight.

Aston Villa are 5/1 at Bet365 to get promoted from the Championship this season.

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