Norwich hires Dean Smith a week after he was fired by Villa

NORWICH, England (AP) — Norwich appointed Dean Smith as manager of the Premier League’s last-placed team on Monday, a week after he was fired by Aston Villa.

The 50-year-old Smith replaces Daniel Farke, who was dismissed last weekend despite overseeing Norwich’s first win of the league season.

“It has been a whirlwind seven days, but I’m really pleased to be back and working for Norwich City in the Premier League,” Smith said in a statement.

Now the aim is avoiding an instant relegation to the League Championship.

“Dean has an outstanding track record and as soon as he made it clear that he was ready to go straight back into a managerial role we contacted him immediately,” Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber said. “He shares the same values and vision as the club, has a proven track record of winning games in the Premier League as well as developing players and building a winning culture and mentality.”

Norwich is bottom of the Premier League, five points from safety after 11 matches.

Smith’s first game in charge will be against Southampton at Carrow Road on Saturday. Southampton was also the opponent for Smith’s last match in charge of Villa, which led to a fifth successive loss and his departure from the club.

Norwich has scored five goals all season, including two in the win over Brentford last week which could not save Farke from losing his job. Providing a regular supply line for main striker Teemu Pukki will be crucial to Norwich’s chances, as will finding goals from elsewhere on the field.

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