Dean Smith started managerial life at Walsall, impressing in his time at the club. The Saddlers had looked like certainties for relegation when Smith took over the job, and he impressed everyone with the way he handled the pressure of a relegation battle. In his final season, he led the club to 8th in the table, before leaving to take over current side Brentfordin 2015.
I was at Walsall for six-and-a-half years- first as head of youth and then as manager, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Brentford had to tick an awful lot of boxes for me to even consider it. But the lure of coming and having the chance to manage in the Championship, and hopefully the Premier League, was too big to turn down
I always said it was an improbable dream getting Walsall to the Championship because only a few other managers have done it. The impossible dream was getting to the Premier League. But Brentford is a club where it is possible to get to the Premier League.
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The Sack Race's Opinion
Smith did much good at Walsall, helping to stabilise the club, and even after an average start to life at Brentford, given time he is more than capable of turning it around.