Brentford 'open-minded' on Dean Smith's successor

Dean Smith on the sidelines during his time at Brentford
Dean Smith won 57 of his 143 games in charge of the Bees after being appointed head coach in November 2015

Brentford are "open-minded" about who they appoint to replace departed head coach Dean Smith.

Smith, 47, joined fellow Championship side Aston Villa on Wednesday following almost three years at Griffin Park.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be someone who has a lot of Championship experience," Bees co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen said.

"The main thing is that we can see that person fitting into our structure - someone that buys into the project."

Brentford have finished in the top 10 in each of their four seasons in the second tier since winning promotion in 2014, with Smith overseeing the past three of those.

The west London club are seventh in the table, three points and eight places above Villa in the table. Their next league game is against Bristol City at Griffin Park on 20 October.

"We need someone who can add something to what we are already doing and, at the same time, someone who can build on what has already been built," Ankersen, speaking at a fans' forum, added.

"This is not 'Do you have experience from this or that league?', it is 'Is it a fit to the culture and the strategy?'.

"We are optimistic about the future. Whoever is going to be the next coach will just crack on and hopefully take the club to the next level."

Ankersen's fellow co-director of football Phil Giles says the Bees will take their time to make sure they get the right person for the job.

"We want to take the opportunity to take some time and speak to some people and go from there," Giles said.

"We hope the process won't take forever but at the same time it is right to pause and see it as an opportunity for the club to actually improve."

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