Dean Smith: Sacked Aston Villa boss believed he could have led club to top 10

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When Dean Smith was appointed in 2018, Aston Villa ranked 14th in Championship.

Dean Smith, the Aston Villa manager who was sacked believes that he could have led them to a top-10 Premier League finish if he had been there.

Smith, 50, was fired on Sunday following five consecutive league losses. Villa was 16th in the table.

Smith was appointed in October 2018 and guided Villa to the 11th position in the top flight, two years after he took them up from Championship.

He stated, "My belief was we would continue our progress this season."

Smith arrived at Villa as 14th in Championship. After guiding them to promotion, Smith kept them in Premier League on the last day of 2020.

Smith was also instrumental in leading Villa to the 2020 Carabao Cup Final, where they were defeated 2-1 by Manchester City at Wembley.

Smith released a statement by the League Managers Association, stating that he was proud to be named head coach at Aston Villa, a club I supported all my life.

"I understand football and I respect the owners' decision. However, I believed that if important players returned to full fitness soon, we could achieve a top-half finish."

Villa took part in significant transfers this summer. They bought Emi Buendia, a midfielder from Norwich, Leon Bailey, a Jamaican winger, from Bayer Leverkusen, for PS30m, and Danny Ings, a striker from England, from Southampton for PS25m.

These signings were made possible by Jack Grealish's sale to Manchester City, for a British record price of PS100m.

However, results have not met expectations. Villa has not received a Premier League point after beating Manchester United on 25/09/09.

Smith said that one of his roles as Aston Villa's head coach was to help individual players improve their on-field performance.

I feel that I have more than contributed to the development of a player, as well as creating a pathway for a flourishing academy.