Dean Smith has said that he hopes the similar working environment at Norwich and Aston Villa means he can prove a successful manager for the Canaries.
Smith only got the sack at Villa last weekend, but he has gone straight back into the dugout with Norwich on a two-and-a-half-year deal. Indeed, he took advantage of Daniel Farke’s recent departure at Carrow Road to get his chance.
Nevertheless, Smith has an immediate fight on his hands to turn his new side’s fortunes around.
Norwich sit bottom of the Premier League following only one win from 11 games. What’s more, they sit five points from safety alongside Newcastle.
However, Smith has insisted that he feels ready for his latest challenge in the English top flight.
“It has been a whirlwind seven days, but I’m really pleased to be back and working for Norwich City in the Premier League,” the 50-year-old told the club’s website.
“Clearly, there has been some wonderful work that has gone into this football club over last four and a half years. It is now the job of myself and Craig [Shakespeare, assistant manager] to continue and improve on that work with the ultimate aim of surviving in the Premier League.
“Norwich City is a big club, with a massive hardcore of supporters who are fully understanding in what it means to be part of the club and its community.
“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.”
Smith added that he “didn’t enjoy” the only four months he has had out of football following his career in the game beginning at the age of 16.
He labelled Norwich a “progressive” club as they look to stay in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Smith talked up his upcoming work with Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber. In fact, the manager insisted that Norwich’s structure has similarities to Villa’s in that regard – and that it can prove beneficial to his chances as manager.
Smith happy with Norwich, Aston Villa similarity
“I’ve always worked to improve and develop players – with that obviously comes improved performances. I was really impressed with the idea, structure and vision that is already in place at the club,” he said.
“I’ve also been really impressed with the work Stuart has done at both Huddersfield and Norwich and he is someone I’ve known of for a while.
“A lot of my background has been working with sporting directors at both Brentford and Aston Villa. It’s an important relationship and I’m sure we’ll work well together here.”
As for his new players, reports have revealed that Smith is looking forward to working with on-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour as well as Todd Cantwell.
Meanwhile, he supposedly wants to ensure Cantwell’s future at Carrow Road.