Dean Smith returns to former club Brentford for the first time hoping to get a win as Aston Villa manager.
The English coach left the Bees after three years in charge at Griffin Park last October in order to take up the managerial role vacated by Steve Bruce at Villa Park.
Smith has only won seven of his 20 matches since taking over Aston Villa, but he has injected a sense of purpose and positivity into the team, who lie six points outside the playoff spots.
His former charges Brentford are closer to the opposite end of the table, but Smith is hoping the game doesn’t go the same way recent fixtures between the two have done.
“What I’ve got to do is turn around the Brentford-Aston Villa form, because as Brentford manager I seemed to beat Aston Villa every time there. Hopefully I can get a Villa win this time.”
Smith is looking forward to catching up with old friends at the club, but insists he is focused on coming up with a plan to foil Brentford.
“I’ve got a lot of friends there – staff, players, directors, the chairman, who I stay in touch with,” he said.
“They’re just really good people and I loved my time there.
“I will look forward to going in and seeing them.
“But I’ve got a job in hand and that’s Aston Villa.
“I’ve got to find a way to beat them now. We’ll need to out-think them and be better than Thomas Frank tactically.”