Dean Smith is officially unveiled as Norwich City's new head coach

Dean Smith is confirmed as Norwich’s new manager on a two-and-half year deal after Frank Lampard pulled out of the race… with the ex-Aston Villa boss back in a Premier League job just EIGHT DAYS after being sacked

Norwich City have officially confirmed that Dean Smith is their new head coach, with the former Aston Villa boss having penned a two-and-a-half year deal.

Smith, 50, left his job at Villa Park just eight days ago but has made an instant return to the Premier League and will be tasked with helping his new side avoid relegation.

As expected, he has been joined at Carrow Road by his long-term assistant head coach Craig Shakespeare.

Norwich City have officially confirmed the appointment of Dean Smith as their new manager

As reported by Sportsmail recently, Smith is eager to take on the challenge of helping the Canaries escape another drop into the Championship.  

He was considered to be the No 1 candidate among club chiefs, although there were initial concerns over whether he would need a longer break after his Villa departure.

Smith has visited family in New York, but impressed the Norwich hierarchy and agreed to terms over the weekend to seal his immediate top-flight comeback. 

Smith penned a two-and-a-half year deal and will be tasked with helping them avoid the drop

Craig Shakespeare (L), Smith’s long-term No 2 at Aston Villa, has also headed to Carrow Road

Frank Lampard, the former Chelsea manager, pulled his name out of consideration last week, leaving Smith as the standout choice. He was offered the role on Friday.  

Reacting to his appointment, Smith said: ‘It has been a whirlwind seven days, but I’m really pleased to be back and working for Norwich City in the Premier League.

‘Clearly, there has been some wonderful work that has gone into this football club over last four and a half years. It is now the job of myself and Craig to continue and improve on that work with the ultimate aim of surviving in the Premier League.

‘Norwich City is a big club, with a massive hardcore of supporters who are fully understanding in what it means to be part of the club and its community.

Daniel Farke was dismissed last weekend with Norwich rock bottom of the Premier League

‘I was brought up in an era when Norwich were competing in Europe – I remember those times well and whenever I’ve visited Carrow Road and Norwich you can really sense the connection between the fans, staff and players. 

‘Together, we all have to make Carrow Road a really tough place for visiting teams.

‘From the age of 16 I’ve been working in football. I think in that time I’ve had four months out and didn’t enjoy it. It’s great to get straight back in with a club that are determined to be progressive.

‘I’ve always worked to improve and develop players – with that obviously comes improved performances. I was really impressed with the idea, structure and vision that is already in place at the club.’

Frank Lampard was initially a contender for the job but soon pulled his name out of contention 

After impressing Norwich chiefs in his interview, Smith spent time in New York with his family

Smith’s first game in charge will come against Southampton on November 20, after the current international break.

Norwich’s sporting director Stuart Webber said: ‘We are delighted to have appointed Dean as our new head coach. I have admired his work for some time and he has been a long-term target in the event that we needed to appoint a new head coach.

‘Dean has an outstanding track record and as soon as he made it clear that he was ready to go straight back into a managerial role we contacted him immediately.

‘He shares the same values and vision as the club, has a proven track record of winning games in the Premier League as well as developing players and building a winning culture and mentality.’

Smith has also coached Walsall and Brentford, and enjoyed a successful stint at Villa after being named as their manager in October 2018.

At the end of this first season, he helped the club secure promotion to the Premier League – and then kept them up. In the last campaign, Villa finished 11th. 

Norwich, meanwhile, are bottom of the table with just five points from 11 games.  

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