Sam Saunders is well placed to judge Dean Smith’s chances of success at Aston Villa.
The 35-year-old midfielder played a bit-part role under Smith during his first few months at Brentford manager but still has only good words to say about the 47-year-old coach.
Smith transformed the Bees into one of the most exciting and free-flowing teams in the Championship in three years at Griffin Park and was rewarded with his dream job at boyhood club Villa, signing a contract to take over from Steve Bruce on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Mirror (12 October, page 57), Saunders has backed Smith and assistant John Terry to succeed at Villa Park.
“Dean did a good job at Brentford and plays attacking football,” the current Wycombe Wanderers midfielder said.
“If he gets them going they will be a force to be reckoned with. They’ve got goals and assists everywhere you look.”
Smith’s penchant for getting the best out of his attacking players bodes well for a Villa side whose gifted forwards struggled to find their best form under the more pragmatic Bruce.
In Yannick Bolasie, Jack Grealish, Anwar El Ghazi, Jonathan Kodjia and Tammy Abraham, Aston Villa have a number of forwards capable of being among the very best in the Championship.