Dean Smith insists John Terry is not leaving Aston Villa for Bristol City manager's job

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and his assistant John Terry
Image: Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says John Terry is not leaving the club

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has rejected the idea that his assistant John Terry could leave to take the vacant manager's job at Bristol City.

Lee Johnson was sacked on July 4 after their home defeat to Cardiff saw them go nine matches without a victory and slip down the Sky Bet Championship table.

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Chris Hughton is understood to be the favourite to take over at Ashton Gate but after Terry was also linked with the job, Smith quashed suggestions he could be leaving Villa Park.

When asked about the possibility of his No 2 taking over at City, Smith told Sky Sports News: "I have spoken to John and he is fully committed to our cause here at Aston Villa."

When pushed on whether he could be in line for the role it was still available at the end of the season, Smith added: "I don't think we can look at the summer, we've got to look at now.

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"They've got Dean Holden, a former coach of mine, in charge at the moment. He is working hard for his club and JT is certainly working very hard for me.

"We've got a very good relationship and we enjoy working together."

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A more pressing concern for former Walsall manager Smith is the battle to keep Villa in the Premier League.

Wins for West Ham and Watford on Saturday have left them seven points adrift of safety going into Sunday's game with Crystal Palace - live on Sky Sports.

Smith: Villa must believe they can survive

Smith: Villa must believe they can survive

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has called on his players to have belief they can turn around their fortunes.

But with tough fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United now out of the way, Smith remains confident they can give a good account of themselves against teams closer to their own ability.

Smith added: "We've got four massive games to come and they're not against Man Utd or Liverpool, they're against teams we feel we can be competitive against but there is an awful lot of quality in the Premier League.

"Our concentration now is fully on Crystal Palace. They won their first game after lockdown at Bournemouth 2-0 but they've lost their last four.

Jack Charlton 0:46
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith pays tribute to England and Leeds legend Jack Charlton who has died at the age of 85

"I watched their last game against Chelsea and they were very good, they were very unfortunate they didn't get a result in that game.

"We have to just make sure we concentrate on ourselves and that we are performing to the levels we can.

"Now we face a team in Crystal Palace we feel we can be competitive against rather than the internationals at Liverpool and Manchester United."

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