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Aston Villa have announced the departure of Dean Smith following Friday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
The Villa Park boss has been under serious pressure of late after five straight Premier League defeats.
The club confirmed the news on Sunday afternoon, two days after a disappointing result at St. Mary's.
A statement read: "Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that the Club have parted company with Head Coach Dean Smith.
"Dean was appointed Villa Head Coach just over three years ago in October 2018 and led the Club back to the Premier League via the play-offs in his first season in charge following a club-record ten-match winning sequence towards the end of that campaign.
"The following season, he kept Villa in the top flight while also leading the team out at the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley, narrowly losing 2-1 to Manchester City."
CEO Christian Purslow said: “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.”
No replacement has been identified as of yet but a number of names are already in the mix.
Paulo Fonseca, recently linked with Newcastle and Tottenham, has been mentioned.
Nuno Espirito Santo and Steven Gerrard have also been touted with the Midlands gig.
Whoever takes over will find Villa sat in 15th place, with just 10 points from their opening 11 games.
- Aston Villa FC
- Premier League
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