Smith excited by Shakespeare link-up

08 August 2020 18:35:12 GMTPlus10

Dean Smith is looking forward to reuniting with Craig Shakespeare after adding him to his Aston Villa coaching staff.

Shakespeare was most recently on Watford's backroom team before Nigel Pearson was sacked by the Hertfordshire club with two matches remaining in the season.

Villa stayed up at the Hornets' expense after they claimed a 1-1 draw at West Ham on the final day of the campaign.

He and Smith played together at Walsall in the 1980s and after a brief spell as caretaker manager at West Brom in 2006, Shakespeare rose to prominence at Leicester.

He's a vastly experienced coach who will add another dimension to our team.

Dean Smith

The 56-year-old was assistant to Claudio Ranieri when the Foxes shocked the football world by winning the Premier League in 2016 and he took over from the popular Italian when he left the club the following season.

Shakespeare managed Leicester for 26 games, winning 11, drawing six and losing nine and he was also an assistant to Sam Allardyce for his ill-fated one-match spell as England manager.

Villa already have John Terry and Richard O'Kelly on the coaching staff but there is no indication that either man will be leaving the club.

Smith is delighted to have Shakespeare on board and looking to use his experience heading into the 2020/21 campaign.

He said: "I was keen to add some additional Premier League know-how onto my coaching team and Craig certainly has that in abundance.

"He's a vastly experienced coach who will add another dimension to our team.

"I've known Craig for many years since our Walsall playing days and I'm really looking forward to working with him."

Villa are 5.00 to be relegated in 2020/21, while they are 4.00 to finish in the top half.

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