Aston Villa have sacked head coach Dean Smith, the Premier League club has announced.
It comes after the West Midlands’ club lost 1-0 to Southampton on Saturday, leaving them 15th in the top flight.
It had been the team’s fifth league defeat in a row.
In a statement, the club 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.”
Smith left Brentford and took the reigns at Villa in in October 2018, with the club sat in 15th in The Championship.
He took the squad into the Premier League in his first season at the club, keeping them there the following year.
Last season, the team finished 11th, but took a hit when the talismanic Jack Grealish swapped Villa Park for the Etihad in Manchester.
Grealish tweeted shortly after the news broke, calling Smith a goat, which stands for greatest of all time.
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