Norwich offers manager job to Dean Smith after Frank Lampard leaves

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Norwich City have offered the vacant managerial post to Dean Smith. The last Premier League club have moved on quickly after Frank Lampard withdrew from the race to succeed Daniel Farke and they believe Smith is capable of saving them from relegation.

Norwich has had positive talks with the 50-year-old, who could make an early return to management following his sacking by Aston Villa last Sunday, although the deal is yet to be done. Smith, who is expected to make Craig Shakespeare his assistant, must decide if he needs time to recharge after leaving Villa.

Norwich, who sacked Farke last Saturday, are hoping to have a new manager in place when they host Southampton next Saturday. The Carrow Road club spoke to Lampard on Thursday, but the former Chelsea and Derby manager decided the job was not for him. Lampard, who hasn’t worked since being sacked by Chelsea last January, didn’t think getting into a relegation battle would have been good for his career.

This left Smith as an obvious candidate to replace Farke. Smith, who has extensive lower league experience after spells with Brentford and Walsall, has an impressive resume. He was named by Villa in October 2018 and made an instant impact, bringing his childhood club back to the Premier League at the end of his first season.

Villa won the promotion by beating the Lampard Derby in the play-off final and Smith, who was on vacation in New York City, led his team to safety in their first season back in the top flight. He then lifted them to 11th place last season, but lost his job after a disappointing start to the campaign. Villa struggled after selling Jack Grealish to Manchester City and Smith was sacked after five consecutive losses.

However, his coaching credentials are beyond doubt and Norwich, who is five points below 17th-placed Watford, needs someone to wake them up after terrible form. They have worked hard since their promotion last season and believe Smith is capable of sparking an improvement.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard’s backstage staff followed the former England midfielder from Rangers to Aston Villa. Former Scotland midfielder Gary McAllister and Michael Beale will now take on assistant head coach roles at Villa Park. Tom Culshaw, Scott Mason and Jordan Milsom have also moved to the Midlands club.

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