Aston Villa latest news: Fresh Dean Smith claim made amid EPL struggles

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith

Dean Smith is a "serious operator" and capable of getting Aston Villa out of the sticky situation they find themselves in, according to BirminghamLive journalist Ashley Preece.

Villa suffered a fourth consecutive defeat as they were put to the sword by West Ham United on Sunday.

What's the latest news involving Smith?

The 4-1 loss at the hands of the Hammers resulted in Villa falling to within three points of the Premier League's relegation zone.

Despite the latest setback, Smith has refused to be pessimistic and insisted there is enough quality within his squad to bounce back.

It has been reported that the pressure is ramping up on Smith thanks to the loss of form in recent weeks, with bookmakers making the Villa chief the favourite to be the next chief to be sacked after Tottenham Hotspur dismissed Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday.

But the low point comes after Smith has enjoyed success since being appointed as Villa's head coach three years ago, guiding the club to promotion less than 12 months later.

The standout result of the current campaign came a little over a month ago as Kortney Hause headed home a late winner as Villa overcame Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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What has Ashley Preece said about Smith?

Preece believes getting the better of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United was proof of Smith's managerial credentials.

The journalist also believes the performance during the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea earlier in the campaign showed Smith is capable of causing problems for big-name bosses such as Thomas Tuchel.

He told GIVEMESPORT: "He's a serious operator. He outthought Manchester United earlier in the season.

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"They were very strong and he did it to Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel as well.

"Chelsea were struggling for large parts of that game. Villa nailed their game plan there but didn't take their chances and were made to pay."

Is Smith capable of turning things around at Villa Park?

Smith was backed to the tune of £93million during the summer transfer window, so it is clear that he has the owners' trust.

That huge spending spree came after talisman Jack Grealish was sold to Manchester City for £100million, shattering the British transfer record fee.

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Smith, 50, has a positive managerial record having won 198 of his 540 matches in the dugout.

However, the recent loss of form means Smith has now only secured two more wins than defeats since moving into the Villa hotseat.

In a recent survey, Smith received the backing of the Villa faithful, boosting his hopes of remaining at the helm.

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