Aston Villa manager news: How Dean Smith could be sacked after Friday

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Journalist Luke Hatfield reckons that Dean Smith's job will be safe unless something "catastrophic" happens against Southampton.

Aston Villa travel to St Mary's on a four-game losing run in the Premier League, which has ramped up the pressure on Smith.

According to the Daily Mail, the club's hierarchy are already lining up a potential new manager, with former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca on their list.

But Hatfield doesn't think that Southampton will be his last game unless Villa suffer a massive defeat.

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What did Hatfield say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "If they put in a poor performance and lose at Southampton, I don't see anything happening in terms of a managerial change, unless it's really catastrophic.

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"But then you never know with football, if they go and get beaten six or seven nil, then you do seriously wonder what will happen, but I think it's the run of three fixtures that are big for him."

How have Villa performed this season?

Having picked up three victories and 10 points from their opening six Premier League fixtures, which included wins over Manchester United and Everton, it was a promising start to the season.

However, their campaign has quickly turned sour in October and besides the 3-2 defeat to Wolves, Villa have hardly laid a glove on the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham.

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Their previous two performances and results would have been a huge concern for Smith, conceding seven times combined against Arsenal and West Ham, even though they did play the best part of 40 minutes with ten men in the latter.

Can Villa get a positive result against Southampton?

Villa head to the South Coast just three points above the relegation-zone, which isn't exactly where many expected them to be in the table after bringing in the likes of Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia and Danny Ings following what appeared to be a positive summer transfer window.

But none of those three are yet to hit top form, with Smith desperate for that to change at St Mary's.

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Results are everything in football, but with Smith's job now on the line, he needs a performance to go with a positive result.

Southampton themselves aren't exactly world beaters but are improving with every passing week and are unbeaten in three matches after winning at Watford, with Wolves the only away side to taste victory at St Mary's this season.

Villa are more than capable of collecting a positive result, but they'll need to play far better than in recent games.

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