City chief Smith not out for revenge against Villa

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith is preparing to face old club Aston Villa in the Premier League

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith is preparing to face old club Aston Villa in the Premier League - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith is not on a revenge mission against Aston Villa as he prepares for a swift reunion with his old club. 

Smith was dismissed just a day after Daniel Farke was sacked, but replaced the German eight days later at Carrow Road. 

Villa appointed Steven Gerrard as his successor, and Gerrard brings the Claret and Blues to Norfolk on Tuesday for a game that also doubles as the return of reigning player-of-the-year Emi Buendia. 

"Did I want to go? No, but someone made that decision and I wasn’t in control of that. Life is then about moving on," he said. "But I am thankful Norwich City offered me a chance to get back in.    

“I will always be a Villa fan. I was quite proud of the fact my boy is back from America and he wanted to go and watch Villa versus Liverpool rather than Norwich versus Manchester United.

"Our family are Villa fans but I know he will be at Tuesday’s game and supporting us. My sole remit is Norwich City. You have to move on. The decision was out of my hands.  

“You can detach very quickly when you have been involved in this game so long. I was a fan of Villa since I was a boy but in 34 years as a professional, only three of them were at Villa. I was also a supporter of Brentford, Walsall, Sheffield Wednesday, Port Vale as well.

Most Read

“No extra motivation. I can honestly say that. I had a great time there. Only the motivation to win the next game. We need to because of the position we are in in the table to close the points tally. We have had five games under me, we have five points. But we need to get more." 

Smith, speaking on Monday morning at Colney, did admit he will be using his intimate knowledge of the Villa squad to his advantage. 

“I know the strengths and weaknesses of the majority of their players,” he said. “Perhaps only John McGinn is one I didn’t bring in. But I have worked with them all.

"They also know what I am about and they will know what I am looking to do. Steven has gone in there with his own ideas but watching the games you start to learn a bit more about them. As they will with my Norwich side.  

“It is just the next game to be honest. I was manager there a month ago and someone made a decision where I was no longer the manager. I am not in control of that. I moved on very quickly.

"I am enjoying life at Norwich and it just so happens it is Aston Villa on Tuesday. If it was Manchester City or Liverpool it would be the same.  

“I made a statement when I left that football club and I stand by every word of it but they moved on and I moved on. I am fine with it.”