Best is yet to come for Villa – Smith
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has marked his one-year anniversary in charge by insisting the highlight of his tenure is yet to come.
The 48-year-old left Brentford to take charge at Villa Park last October and has been a huge success, guiding the club back to the Premier League after a three-year absence.
When he was appointed following the sacking of Steve Bruce, the Villans were on a run of one win from nine Championship matches and in mid-table.
After initially struggling to get the best out of his new troops, Smith’s side ended the campaign strongly, culminating in them getting the better of Derby County in the play-off final.
Having tasted defeat in the Wembley showpiece the year before, the 2-1 win over the Rams was a cathartic moment for many fans and the club are now looking to kick on following their return to the top flight.
The West Midlands outfit spent big in the summer in the hope of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship, splashing out an estimated £127million on 12 new players.
It has contributed to a steady start to the 2019/20 season and they picked up their second win of the campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Norwich before the international break.
Smith says the win at Carrow Road shows the team are moving in the right direction and he believes the players are showing gradual signs of improvement.
“There’s a football team that is evolving here. I think there’s a club that’s come together. We are all pulling in the same direction. There’s a great feel about the place.”
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 10, 2019
The ex-Walsall boss believes that with Villa trending in the right direction, the club could be set to enjoy a high above the one they experienced at Wembley in May.
“To actually take them back to the Premier League as well – it’s beyond dreams really,” he said.
“But we’re still building and we still want to get better. We don’t want to see that as the highlight. We want to keep going and move forward.”
Villa return to action after the international break with a home clash against Brighton on October 19.