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Dean Smith recognises one Premier League chance is Aston Villa promotion

Dean Smith recognises the one chance he has of working in the Premier League is by leading Aston Villa to promotion.

At Brentford – unfashionable, under-rated, under-the-radar Brentford – Smith was the seventh-highest ranked English coach in the pyramid before he accepted the challenge of restoring Aston Villa to the penthouse.

Speaking before his appointment at Villa, with former England captain John Terry as his No.2 in a managerial dream team, he said: “There are some terrific young British managers and coaches in the game.

“I've had some great tactical battles with them in League One and the Championship. They are out there, and they have a lot to offer.

“But if you are young, British and ambitious, it's so hard now to get a job in the Premier League unless you win promotion.

“For whatever reason, owners don't automatically turn to English or British coaches first: They cast the net far and wide.

“I also believe British coaches need to go and learn a lot more about what's out there as well. At Brentford, myself and (assistant) Richard O'Kelly brought in Thomas Frank, who was manager at (Danish club) Brondby, to help out on our coaching staff because he can bring us something different.

“We can learn from each other and Thomas has a different outlook, but like young players, coaches need to expand their horizons and keep challenging themselves – and that includes working in a different country."

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Paul Vegas

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