Smith: Villa job is a family affair

By Graham Hill

DEAN Smith admitted he consulted his family before deciding to take the Aston Villa job.

When Steve Bruce was sacked earlier this season, Smith knew he could be in the frame.

And when bookies’ favourites Thierry Henry and Brendan Rodgers fell out of the running, he knew his chances of getting the job were increasing by the day.

But before agreeing to leave Brentford and take over at the club he had supported since he was a boy, he talked it over with his family first.

In an interview with The Times, Smith said: “I felt I’d earned the seat, I’d managed 405 games. I was really enjoying Brentford, it was a tough decision but the right decision.”

But he wanted to involve his family and that included his son, who lives in the USA and joined in the discussion on Facetime.

Smith added: “I wanted it to be family decision.

“They’re all Villa fans, my daughter’s still at school locally and if we had a run of results, I didn’t want it to affect her.

“I was quite confident she’d handle it. The most important thing in my life is my family, I need to be a good husband and father.

“But I knew the pressure of it. It’s more than a job.

“I understand the Villa fans, I’m one of them. After the game. If we’d not played well I’ll tell it like it is. But I don’t take football home. My phone’s on silent. My wife copes very well. She’s quite an emotional character, she can get high or low but can also see when it affects me. She handles the pressure really well.”

Smith says only once did he become a fan as opposed to Villa manager.

That was during the 4-2 win over Blues at Villa Park. He added: “In the last minutes, the crowd were all signing and had a little look around and thought ‘This is incredible’”

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