Norwich has appointed Dean Smith as head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal.
The former Aston Villa boss, 50, succeeds Daniel Farke, who was sacked with the Canaries bottom of the Premier League, five points adrift of safety.
Smith, sacked by Aston Villa eight days ago, agreed to take over at Norwich on Saturday after Frank Lampard withdrew from the running.Embed from Getty Images
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.
“I was brought up in an era when Norwich was 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 is 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.
“I’ve also been really impressed with the work Stuart has done at both Huddersfield and Norwich and he is someone I’ve known of for a while. A lot of my background has been working with sporting directors at both Brentford and Aston Villa. It’s an important relationship and I’m sure we’ll work well together here.”
Smith is joined at Carrow Road by Craig Shakespeare, who was his assistant at Villa Park.
Norwich 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.Embed from Getty Images
“In Craig Shakespeare, we have secured an assistant head coach with an outstanding reputation and vast experience within the game. We are delighted that Craig has agreed to join our new team.
“We look forward to working with Dean and Craig and building on the outstanding work which has been achieved at this club in the last few years.
“There are huge challenges ahead, but we are excited and determined to see how far we can continue to grow as a club on and off the pitch.”
Norwich is bottom of the Premier League, five points adrift of safety after recording their first league win of the season at Brentford prior to the international break.Embed from Getty Images
Previous head coach Daniel Farke was sacked just hours after that victory on November 6.
Smith, 50, and former Chelsea boss Lampard were understood to be in a two-horse race to take charge at Carrow Road, but the latter withdrew from the running as he did not feel the job was right for him at this stage of his career.
Even before Lampard withdrew his interest, Norwich’s bosses were understood to have been impressed by the vision and ethos of Smith’s ideas for the squad.
Smith’s first game in charge will be at home to Southampton on 20 November.
He will make history as the first man to take charge of successive Premier League matches against the same opponent with different teams, after being sacked by Villa following defeat by the Saints.Embed from Getty Images
At Aston Villa, he helped guide the club to promotion from the Championship during his first season in charge, before two successful campaigns in the Premier League followed.
Smith also steered Villa to the 2019/20 League Cup final, ultimately losing out to Manchester City at Wembley.
Prior to his spell at Villa Park, Smith had held managerial positions at Brentford and Walsall.