BIRMINGHAM defender Harlee Dean has risked the wrath of his fans by admitting he’s pleased Aston Villa were promoted.
Villa secured a return to the Premier League last week as they beat Derby 2-1 in the Championship play-off final.
Dean Smith quit Brentford to take charge of his boyhood club in October and he masterminded a stunning march up the table.
Birmingham star Dean played under the Villa boss at Brentford before moving to St Andrews in 2017.
And despite the fierce rivalry between the two clubs, the defender has backed Smith to be a success in the top flight.
“I watched the play-off final,” he said.
“Let’s be honest, you can’t take anything away from Villa.
“They won 10 games in a row which is different level stuff in this league.”
Dean’s admission comes amid news that:
- Aston Villa have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Neil Etheridge
- Leeds are set to snap up this released Villa man
- Tyrone Mings could make his loan move permanent next week
“I am over the moon for him.”
Birmingham defender Harlee Dean
“They were probably the strongest team in the play-offs as well and one of the better teams we have played this year,” Dean continued.
“I think Dean Smith will be great in the Premier League.
“The fact he was an Aston Villa supporter from a young age as well, it is very special for him.
“It is something dreams are made of.
“I am over the moon for him.
“Fair play to them.
“Dean is my old manager and I couldn’t be happier for him and his assistant Richard O’Kelly as well.
“They are up, we would have liked to have played them next season and beaten them but you never know how the cup runs go.”
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