As West Brom prepare to face fellow promotion hopefuls Aston Villa on Friday night, it has been revealed just how close Dean Smith came to being in the opposite dugout for the clash.

Smith was heavily linked with the West Brom job when Alan Pardew was sacked by the club.

According to the Birmingham Mail, it now transpires that Smith was interviewed for the role and formed a two-man shortlist before the club opted to go with Darren Moore.

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The decision to hire Moore has turned out well for the Baggies, with the previous caretaker manager now pushing for promotion and an immediate return to the top flight.

Moore has given the club a new lease of life in the Championship, with the Baggies rivalling Norwich and Leeds for a place in the automatic spots as things stand.

Smith continued to impress with Brentford in the early stages of the season before being confirmed as Steve Bruce’s replacement at Villa Park recently.

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