Leicester appoint Smith amid relegation battle

Leicester City have appointed Dean Smith as manager until the end of the season as the club attempts to avoid relegation to the Championship, the club announced on Monday.

Smith will lead 19th-placed Leicester in their final eight matches of the Premier League season, starting against second-placed Manchester City on Saturday. The former Norwich City boss left the Canaries last season after previous spells at Aston Villa and Brentford.

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“I’m really happy to have the opportunity to lead the team during these final weeks of the season,” Smith said in a statement. “The challenge in front of us is clear, but it’s one myself and my coaching team have experienced before and, with the quality in this squad and the number of games remaining, it’s very much achievable.”

Smith takes over at the King Power Stadium following the departure of former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers on April 2. The Premier League strugglers are in a nine-match winless run following their 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.

“We’ve endured a challenging season, but I have no doubt that we have the quality in our squad to win this fight,” chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said. “Dean’s experience will be key to unlocking that potential, helping the team rediscover its confidence and channelling the support of our fans, who will be so important during these final eight games.

“Their support has been the foundation of everything we’ve achieved in these last 13 years and it will play a vital role once more in this crucial moment in our history. This is a fight we can win, together.”

Leicester won the Premier League title in 2015-16 against all odds but currently have 25 points after 30 games, two points adrift of the safety zone.

The club said Smith will take training for the first time on Tuesday.


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