Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has admitted his job is “everything that I wanted” after signing a new four-year contract.
Boyhood fan Smith, who arrived at Villa Park as head coach in October last year and secured promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt via the Sky Bet Championship play-off final, has committed his future to the club until 2023.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Manchester United, he said: “I suppose because it’s been the biggest high I’ve experienced, getting promoted at Wembley for my home-town team, the highs have been very high.
“But I’m fairly level-headed and I’ve tried to be as consistent as possible, so I’ve not got too low, that’s for sure – I find more that my family and friends do that for me as Aston Villa fans.
“But it’s everything that I wanted and we’re progressing, and that’s the biggest thing for me.”
Smith’s new deal is a reward for the way in which he fulfilled his initial remit, but having taken the club into the top flight, he is not about to rest.
He said: “I came in last year and my remit under that contract was to get us promoted, and fortunately we managed to do that at the first time of asking.
“Now we’re 13 games into the Premier League season and I think the club is looking to push forward – well, I know it is.
“We have two owners who are invested into the football club, not just financially, but emotionally as well and it’s a club that I believe can grow a lot more than it is at the moment.”
The news of Smith’s retention broke just hours after Arsenal boss Unai Emery became the latest Premier League manager to lose his job, and the Spaniard’s exit served as a timely reminder of the pressure under which Smith and his colleagues work.
Emery, Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino and Watford’s Javi Gracia guided their respective clubs to cup finals last season, but all have been shown the door within months.
Smith said: “It’s not nice to see any manager lose their job, Pochettino last week, Emery this week. Unfortunately, it’s the pitfalls of the business we’re in.
“It’s a tough job, certainly at the Arsenals and the Tottenhams at the moment, They’re expected to be challenging for major honours every season, so it’s very difficult to do that with some of the clubs that are progressing now.”