‘I spoke to Dean Smith’ – Manager reveals Aston Villa advice ahead of Birmingham City clash
Lee Bowyer takes on his former side Birmingham City this weekend with the advice of Aston Villa boss Dean Smith firmly in his head.
Bowyer led Charlton Athletic to promotion last season having landed his first job in management and the Addicks have hit the ground running in the Championship.
In a bizarre exchange in the summer, it was announced the 42-year-old would be leaving The Valley after failing to agree to the terms of a proposed new contract, but he reversed that decision and agreed a one-year deal to stay on as boss.
Charlton’s brilliant start to the campaign has seen them emerge as unlikely early season promotion contenders ahead of Saturday’s clash against Blues.
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One boss with recent experience of leading his club to the Premier League is Smith – and Bowyer has revealed he chatted with the Villa manager during a summer friendly between the sides.
Bowyer told talkSPORT: “I spoke to Dean Smith in pre-season and asked him if there’s one bit of advice you could give.
“He said ‘try and win every game in that division’. I would have done that anyway, but it’s nice to hear that from a fellow manager, as that’s my mentality.”
Bowyer spent two-and-a-half seasons at St Andrew’s towards the end of his playing days, during which he picked up the only silverware of his career when Blues won the Carling Cup.
He said: “Birmingham will be a different challenge to what we’ve faced so far. I’m looking forward to it. They’re solid out of possession and get into their shape very quickly so we’ll have to break them down.
“They’ve got a good striker and are good from set-pieces. We’ll have to be patient and move the ball quickly.
“As a player, it’s better when The Valley is bouncing and I know the Birmingham fans will be making noise, so hopefully we can get some more turning up on the day because we need them. They make a hell of a difference.”