Dean Smith appointed Norwich City manager

Smith back in the dugout a week after losing his job at Aston Villa

Norwich City have confirmed Dean Smith as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

It marks a swift return to management for Smith, 50, just a week after he was sacked by Aston Villa.

He replaces Daniel Farke, who was also axed last weekend despite overseeing Norwich’s first win of the season, at Brentford. Norwich lie bottom of the table, five points from safety after 11 matches.

Norwich turned their attention to Smith after former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard withdrew from the running.

Smith lost his job at Villa after five straight Premier League defeats, with the Birmingham club’s last victory coming on September 25 at Manchester United.

Smith’s first game in charge will be against Southampton at Carrow Road on Saturday. Southampton were also the opponents for his last match in charge of Villa, losing 1-0 at St Mary’s.

Craig Shakespeare, who worked with Smith at Villa Park, will join him as his assistant at Carrow Road.

"It has been a whirlwind seven days, but I'm really pleased to be back and working for Norwich City in the Premier League," Smith said.

"Clearly, there has been some wonderful work that has gone into this football club over the last four-and-a-half years. It is now the job of myself and Craig to continue and improve on that work with the ultimate aim of surviving in the Premier League."

In three years at Villa, Smith guided them to promotion from the Championship and reached the Carabao Cup final.

“Norwich City is a big club, with a massive hard core of supporters who are fully understanding in what it means to be part of the club and its community," he added.

“I was brought up in an era when Norwich were competing in Europe – I remember those times well and whenever I’ve visited Carrow Road and Norwich you can really sense the connection between the fans, staff and players. Together, we all have to make Carrow Road a really tough place for visiting teams.

“From the age of 16 I’ve been working in football. I think in that time I’ve had four months out and didn’t enjoy it. It’s great to get straight back in with a club that are determined to be progressive.”

Sporting director Stuart Webber revealed Smith had been a “long-term target”.

“We are delighted to have appointed Dean as our new head coach,” he said. “I have admired his work for some time and he has been a long-term target in the event that we needed to appoint a new head coach.

“Dean has an outstanding track record and as soon as he made it clear that he was ready to go straight back into a managerial role we contacted him immediately.

“He shares the same values and vision as the club, has a proven track record of winning games in the Premier League as well as developing players and building a winning culture and mentality.”

Updated: November 15th 2021, 8:57 AM
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