Gutted: Aston Villa sack Dean Smith

I wrote this morning this wasn't what I thought was the right thing to do but they've done it. Now, it's all about who they appoint to replace Dean Smith because whatever you want to think about the very recent record we finished better every season and I have no doubt he was going to do that this season too.

So if that wasn't good enough for the owners, they're either been advised badly by the CEO or they've got someone really special lined up. And by special, I mean proven. Not someone that used to play Premier League football and wants to give it a go.

What happens in the next 72 hours are going to determine the success of this season and if it's nothing, then all things point to a mistake and by mistake I mean if there is nobody lined up, then it's just sacking for the sake of sacking and that is never good.

I just want to write thank you. Thank you for giving us the best season we've had in a generation. Thank you for always taking us better than the season before and thank you for the hard work. It's going to be very hard to get someone like Dean Smith again and you could easily position it that it's rare that you get the opportunity or the potential, so I can only assume that big things are about to happen.

Dean Smith was my manager and the Club have sacked him. Doesn't feel great.

CEO Christian Purslow

“When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in The Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season - a rare feat.

“He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley.

“However, after a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.

“The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity - universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”