Leicester City have announced the appointment of former Aston Villa boss Dean Smith as manager for the remainder of the season.
Smith, 52, left Norwich City earlier this season after failing to get the required momentum in the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League.
He will be joined by Craig Shakespeare – who was previously assistant at the King Power Stadium – and John Terry on his coaching staff.
Leicester City Appoint Former Aston Villa and Norwich City Boss Dean Smith as Manager
Welcome to the Club, Dean 🦊 pic.twitter.com/OmfNeQ2Q3B
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 10, 2023
Defensive Struggles Need Addressing
Smith replaces Brendan Rodgers, who struggled this campaign on a limited budget. He signed just two players last summer and the results have reflected the lack of change at the club when change was probably needed.
Their defensive struggles have been clear with only three teams – Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Bournemouth – conceding more than their 52 goals shipped this season. Goals scored haven’t been quite the same issue with The Foxes bagging more than anyone else in the bottom 11 teams.
Former Aston Villa Boss Looking to Rebuild Confidence and Belief in Leicester City Squad
Upon his appointment, Smith told the club website: “I’m really happy to have the opportunity to lead the team during these final weeks of the season.
“The challenge in front of us is clear, but it’s one myself and my coaching team have experienced before and, with the quality in this squad and the number of games remaining, it’s very much achievable.”
Smith’s return to the Premier League sees him in the same situation as previous – a relegation battle. He lost the last one with Norwich but had greater success staying up with Aston Villa.
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He continued: “Our first job is to rebuild confidence and instil belief in the team and I’m looking forward to getting to work with the players this week.
“Saturday will be a big test, but it’s the kind of occasion that reminds us all what it means to be a Premier League club, competing on the biggest stages against the best players in the world.
“I know we’ll be well supported by our travelling fans. We have to connect with that and give them a performance they can be proud of. We go there positive, looking for points.”
Smith couldn’t have a more difficult-looking first game as Leicester boss, travelling to Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on Saturday, April 15.
Leicester currently sit 19th in the Premier League table with 25 points. There are just six points between the relegation zone and 12th place, leaving the battle wide open going into the crucial weeks of the season.
Other Candidates Considered as Dean Smith Takes Helm Until End of Season
Earlier today it was reported that former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch had dropped out of the running for the job. The American represented a surprise contender for this job given the lack of an impression he made in West Yorkshire.
Fabrizio Romano has also reported talks with former Liverpool and Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez – possibly with a view to a more long-term appointment ahead of next season.
Leicester have fallen from the cusp of the ‘big six’ having won the Premier League in 2016 and FA Cup more recently in 2021 to a very serious risk of relegation back to the Championship.