Darren Bent insists that Aston Villa need to give manager Dean Smith time to settle into the Premier League despite finding themselves languishing in the relegation zone after six games.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa and England striker says that the Villans’ board need to take the right steps to keep the club in the Premier League, rather than going out and making rash decisions like sacking the boss.
The English top-flight has already seen its first managerial casualty, Watford replacing Javi Gracia with former head coach Quique Sanchez Flores after their opening four fixtures.
Bent has urged the top brass at his old side not to follow in the footsteps of the Hornets and keep faith with Smith, despite having seen the Villans pick up just one win and one draw from six games.
Asked if he thought Smith would be coming under pressure at Villa Park, Bent told Football Insider: “No, not yet. It’s impossible, it’s his first crack at the Premier League, he needs time. They need to walk before they can run.
“They can’t be skipping steps and thinking: ‘Now we’re back in the Premier League, let’s go for some big manager.’ It doesn’t work like that. You need to give Dean Smith time, I think he spent money wisely; Tyrone Mings was a big signing, Jota’s doing well, Wesley’s doing okay.
“I don’t want to hear them talking about Dean Smith, maybe it’s time for him to go, because it’s not.”
Smith has taken charge of 45 games as Villa boss after replacing Steve Bruce in the dugout, picking up an average of 1.71 points a game.
A boyhood Villan, the 48-year-old helped the club break their record for most league victories in a row last season, picking up all three points in 10 consecutive matches.