Coventry look to Coleman as Pearson heads south

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The Independent Football

Chris Coleman is likely to be named the new manager of Coventry City today, while yesterday Nigel Pearson, who recently decamped from the Kevin Keegan revolution at Newcastle United, was named as George Burley's successor at Southampton.

Coleman, 37, the former Fulham manager, has been a free agent since leaving Real Sociedad last month and is set to replace Iain Dowie, who was sacked last week following disagreements with the chairman Ray Ranson over the future direction of Coventry. Coleman will have immediate work to do – the Sky Blues are 20th in the Championship and were thrashed 5-0 at home by West Bromwich in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Dowie, 43, took over last February, succeeding Micky Adams, but the ex-Charlton manager won only 20 of his 49 games in charge.

Coleman resigned from Real Sociedad because he and his assistant, Steve Keane, were unable to work alongside the newly elected president Inaki Badiola.

Pearson will retain Jason Dodd and John Gorman, who were placed in charge of first-team affairs following Burley's departure, as part of his backroom staff at Southampton. Dodd and Gorman were powerless to prevent the Saints slipping to four defeats from their last five games, but the club's chairman Leon Crouch, backed Pea,rson, 44, to stop the slump.

"We are very grateful to John and Jason for all their hard work after taking over in very difficult circumstances," Crouch said. "They did everything they could and they must feel as hurt as everyone else at the club by Saturday's result [a 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup by Bristol Rovers]. "Pearson is a top-quality coach with experience and good contacts. He is also a disciplinarian with a strong work ethic and will inject new impetus into our campaign."

Pearson began in management with Carlisle before short spells in temporary charge of West Bromwich, Newcastle and England Under-21.

* Samuel Eto'o has been included in the Barcelona squad for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Celtic tomorrow. Eto'o picked up a thigh injury while playing for Cameroon at the African Nations Cup and missed Barça's 2-1 win at Real Zaragoza on Saturday.

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