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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Thursday, 6 January 2011

Walsall caretaker Dean Smith aims to restore positivity

Walsall caretaker manager Dean Smith
Dean Smith has been head of youth development at Walsall since 2009

Dean Smith is keen to restore a positive atmosphere at Walsall as he prepares to take charge of the team for the first time at Tranmere on Saturday.

The bottom club in League One sacked manager Chris Hutchings and his assistant Martin O'Connor on Tuesday.

"Negativity does no good for anybody," caretaker boss Smith, 39, told BBC WM.

"I need positive people around me. I'm a positive person but I need the players to be positive and I need the fans to join with us."

He added: "Hopefully we can all fight together to get out of the predicament that we're in."

Smith began his playing career with Walsall and started over 150 matches before enjoying spells with Hereford, Leyton Orient, Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.

He was assistant to Martin Ling at Orient for four seasons and returned to Walsall as head of youth development in July 2009.

Hutchings' two-year reign at the Bescot Stadium ended with a 4-1 defeat at Peterborough on 3 January, which left the Saddlers eight points adrift of safety and rooted to the foot of the table.

Smith said he had no doubts about accepting the caretaker role, but admitted he is unsure whether he would like to take the job on a permanent basis.

"Being involved in football for the amount of years that I have, nothing surprises me how quickly things change at a football club," he continued.

"The chairman (Jeff Bonser) has asked me to take over on a caretaker basis. I just want to hit the ground running and hopefully get the right results so that we can get out of trouble.

"Things change so quickly in football. I know the position that we're in and what we need to do.

"The only thing that matters now is winning football games and that's what we've got to try and do."

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