Football: Buckley keen to enliven Baggies: New manager installed at The Hawthorns

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The Independent Online
(First Edition) ALAN BUCKLEY took over as manager of West Bromwich Albion yesterday with the message: 'This is a big club - let's bring the big times back.'

Buckley has signed a three and a half year deal with Albion to become their 11th manager in 13 years. He left Grimsby after six years to take over from Keith Burkinshaw, who was sacked.

Buckley said he decided to join West Brom because of the size and potential of the club: 'It wasn't difficult deciding to come to The Hawthorns but it was difficult leaving Grimsby,' he said.

'I cannot guarantee success - I cannot wave a magic wand. But there are a lot of good, talented players at Albion - let's get some football played. If people are prepared to work hard, a club of this stature should be challenging for a promotion place.'

He admitted he had already been told there was no money available to buy new players.

West Brom's determination to sign Buckley will cost them about pounds 500,000 in compensation. Buckley has taken his Grimsby backroom team of the reserve team manager Arthur Mann and the youth coach Richard O'Kelly with him to help pull the club away from the First Division zone.

Meanwhile, Rangers will have to wait to complete the signing of the Hearts defender Alan McLaren. The player is believed to have agreed terms and passed a medical but a stumbling block has arisen over the Rangers duo David McPherson and Neil Murray, who would feature in the swap.

Rangers are prepared to give Hearts pounds 1m plus both players, but McPherson and Murray are seeking financial guarantees from Hearts.

The Cardiff City owner Rick Wright has dismissed speculation that the club will be sold before the end of the year. The former Wales manager Terry Yorath, who with the Midlands businessman Jim Cadman heads a buy-out consortium, indicated in a television interview that the takeover would be completed this week.

But Wright said: 'The consortium are supposed to be buying the club on 31 December and nothing has changed in that, or in Eddie May's position as team manager.'

The consortium has already indicated that May will not figure in their plans, and Kenny Hibbitt, the former Walsall manager, is tipped to get the job.

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