Championship news: Ex-Owls Dean Smith aiming to take Brentford into Premier League

Dean Smith is the new Brentford manager
Dean Smith is the new Brentford manager
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New Brentford boss Dean Smith insists he will be involved in all aspects of the club in trying to bring Premier League football to Griffin Park.

Smith, who spent a season and a half at Sheffield Wednesday as a player was unveiled as Brentford's third permanent manager in the space of six months on Wednesday after spending nearly five years at Walsall.

Dean Smith in his Sheffield Wednesday days

Dean Smith in his Sheffield Wednesday days

The 44-year-old has swapped life at the top of League One for the Sky Bet Championship but his press conference was dominated by questions over whether he would have full control of team matters in west London.

Mark Warburton led the Bees into the Championship play-offs last season but left Brentford admitting he did not agree with the club's management and recruitment structure, while his successor Marinus Dijkhuizen left at the end of September after only nine games in charge.

Caretaker-boss Lee Carsley has since lifted Brentford from 19th to 11th in the Championship with Smith taking over a side only three points adrift of the final play-off place.

"I'm coming to manage in the Championship and at a club that is going upwards," Smith said.

"It's an exciting club and there is a project here how they want to do it, which fits in with my values as well.

"It's a good fit and if you look at how Walsall have played this season you'll see a real pleasing attacking style of play, and I'm sure that was part of their process in searching for a head coach.

"Hopefully it will be proved we are a good match, but I've done my due diligence and for me it was a no-brainer."


Smith, who conducted his press conference alongside Rasmus Ankersen, a co-director of football at Brentford, said he was happy to work in a model which, to the annoyance of club owner Matthew Benham, has been described as a 'Moneyball' system based on statistical data.

"Training, team selection, I will be involved in everything, all parts of the football club," Smith said.

"From the outside it looks a whole lot different to any other football club, but I will be involved in recruitment, with the players and the day-to-day running of the football club.

"I've come from a job where I was in a very secure position and worked very well there, but I wasn't the only one picking players at Walsall.

"The final decision was with my chairman and it was up to him what he wanted to pay. So it's no different.

"I never worried about coming here as it's a great opportunity, and for young British managers working in the lower leagues it's a big pat on the back.

"To get a job in the Championship is an opportunity to showcase what I'm about and the vision for this football club is to get into the Premier League."

Smith watched Monday's 1-1 draw at Bolton from the stand and his first game in charge will be MK Dons' visit on Saturday.

Ankersen said Brentford must think "smarter" to be successful but insisted the Brentford model was based on collaboration and not dictatorship.

"It was very important for the club to find someone willing to buy into the project and implement what the club wants," Ankersen said.

"But we don't assume we know it all and we think we can learn a lot from Dean and Richard (O'Kelly, assistant manager).

"It was important to find someone with experience of English football and open to new ideas.

"It's been impressive to follow Dean's work at Walsall because he's been able on quite a low budget to get good results.

"It is a situation similar to the one at Brentford because we are not a club with a huge budget."