Dean Smith was appointed Aston Villa manager on October 10, 2018, ending a three-year stay at Brentford, and he will come up against his former club in 24 hours. Villa were 15th in the Championship when Smith replaced Steve Bruce and they currently sit 10th in the table ahead of the Brentford clash. But how have the Midlands outfit fared under the 47-year-old compared to Bruce?
At the time of his arrival in October, Villa had 15 points from their first 12 league games, picking up three wins, six draws and three defeats for their troubles. Only three clubs had scored more goals than Villa (20) but only one side conceded more (20). Bruce had a 25% win ratio and averaged 1.25 points-per-game in the first two months of this season.
Dean Smith, however, has improved upon his predecessor. In the last four months, Villa have picked up 29 points from their last 19 games – seven wins, eight draws and four defeats. He’s averaged 1.53 points-per-game. Only Norwich City have scored more goals than Villa (36) but their defensive record ranks them 18th.
Smith would love a result against his old club, but Brentford are no slouches at home – three wins and a draw from their last four at Griffin Park. Villa have dropped points in four of their last five away outings, so Wednesday’s meeting could be a difficult affair for the returning manager.