By Danny Mills

22nd Aug, 2021 | 4:00pm

Mills verdict on 'huge surprise' at Aston Villa after coach reveal

Danny Mills has insisted Richard O’Kelly’s Aston Villa exit will not have been a “huge surprise” to Dean Smith.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Manchester City and England defender insisted O’Kelly’s exit may have an effect in the short-term but Villa will cope.

Football Insider exclusively revealed on 18 August that Villa tried to demote the coach to a role with the Under-23s.

A Villa source has told this site the 66-year-old had no intentions of quitting the club before the attempted demotion.

O’Kelly had worked with Smith for over a decade at Walsall, Brentford and Villa.

Asked whether the coach’s exit could be disruptive to the squad, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Sometimes it can be.

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“But there will be people ready to step up and people will have stepped up. I’m pretty sure this hasn’t come as a huge surprise to Aston Villa. They will have known that this was possibly going to happen for a while so they will have had plans in place.

“It’s not like they will have walked in one day ‘Right, we’re going. Black bin bag and off we go’.

“Football is very transient and very nomadic at times. People travel around. Most clubs are always prepared for that.

“In the short-term, it may provide some disruption but generally, they’ve got good players and a good manager. They will come through it.

“They’ve been together 10 years, he won’t have just said ‘Right, Ok Dean, I’m off’.”

Smith has also lost John Terry from his coaching staff over the summer.

The former Chelsea and England captain has left the club as he feels he is now ready to be a manager.

In other news, Aston Villa could sign an England international “next week”.