Dean Smith has been sacked as manager of Aston Villa after suffering five successive Premier League defeats.
The 50-year-old, who was a boyhood Villans supporter, led the club to promotion back into the top tier in 2018-19. Much was expected in the current campaign, despite parting with Jack Grealish in a record-breaking £100 million ($135m) deal, but Villa have slipped to within two points of the relegation zone.
CEO Christian Purslow told Villa’s official website following a 1-0 defeat against Southampton: “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.”