Dean Smith has been sacked as the manager of Aston Villa, the Premier League club have announced.

Smith, who guided the club back to the top flight, has paid the price for the team's disappointing form this season with Villa having lost their last five games.

Friday's 1-0 defeat at Southampton proved the last act for Smith, that result leaving Villa with just 10 points from their opening 11 games.

Smith took over as Aston Villa boss in 2018 and guided them to promotion at his first attempt, after a 2-1 playoff win over Derby County.

They survived their first season in the Premier League, finishing 17th after a final day draw away to West Ham. The 2020-21 season saw progression, with an impressive 11th placed finish. However, they have regressed in 2021-22.

In a statement on the club website, CEO Christian Purslow commented: "When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in The Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season - a rare feat.

"He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley.

"However, after a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.

"The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity - universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best."