Leicester City appoint Dean Smith as interim coach

In their efforts to stay in the Premier League, Leicester City have appointed Dean Smith on a temporary basis.

The club had identified Jesse Marsch, a former manager of Leeds, as their preferred candidate to take over, but negotiations stalled over the weekend. Moreover, discussions with Rafael Benitez, who is also unemployed, have taken place.

With Leicester, Smith and his assistant Craig Shakespeare are ready to assume leadership until the end of the current campaign. The pair, who had previously collaborated at Aston Villa, parted ways with Norwich City in December after finding it difficult to contend for automatic promotion.

After grudgingly firing Brendan Rodgers, Leicester interviewed several candidates, including Benitez. Still, they had believed the interim management team of Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell would be adequate through the remainder of the season.

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Shakespeare, who was fired as Leicester’s manager in 2017 after only four months in charge, is well-liked among the club’s upper management. He served as an assistant to Nigel Pearson and Claudio Ranieri, who in 2016 defied all odds to lead the team to the Premier League championship.

After three straight losses, Leicester, who are currently in last place, have lost eight of their last nine games overall. On Saturday, they travel to face champions Manchester City, which will be a daunting first match for Smith.