Darren Bent has backed Aston Villa boss Dean Smith to keep his job amid mounting speculation over his future at Villa Park. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England international claimed that no other manager could be expected to come in and make enough of a difference to guarantee survival in the short amount of time that remains this season.

Football Insider revealed earlier in the week that Villa were considering sacking Smith and handing over control to his assistant, John Terry.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

The postponement of the Premier League until at least 4 April have put any plans on hold and Bent has, in any case, dismissed the idea as a bad one.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I certainly wouldn’t be getting rid of him now, because you’re practically now at the end of the season.

“Who’s going to come in and completely change things around? I’m not too sure.

“One of the advantages you’ve got by keeping him, if the worst does come to the worst and you get relegated, you’ve got someone in charge who’s done it before, getting you up. I just think everything is a learning curve.

“I wouldn’t get rid of him now because Villa are in a scrap at the bottom of the table. It’s not worth taking a gamble – there’s no guarantee that whoever you bring in is going to keep you up.”

Villa currently find themselves second off bottom in the Premier League, two points adrift of safety but with a game in hand.

They do face a tough run in, however, with matches against Chelsea, Wolves, Liverpool, Everton, and Arsenal still to come in their last 10 fixtures.

In other Aston Villa news, ‘Is he in a strange place?’ – Exclusive: Whelan reacts to latest controversy.