Henning Berg confirmed as new manager of Blackburn Rovers

 

Blackburn have confirmed former defender Henning Berg as their new manager.

Berg won the Premier League title as a player with Rovers in 1995 and the 43-year-old will succeed Steve Kean, who resigned to end a troubled spell as manager of the npower Championship side a month ago.

Amid heavy speculation this afternoon, Rovers issued a press release stating they would unveil their new manager at Ewood Park tomorrow morning before confirming Berg as the man in question on their official Twitter feed.

"Blackburn can confirm that Henning Berg has accepted the role of manager," a statement on the club's official Twitter page read.

Berg, who made 297 appearances across two spells as a player with Rovers, will take on his first coaching assignment in English football following spells leading Lyn Oslo and Lillestrom in his native Norway.

The 43-year-old's appointment concludes Blackburn's protracted search for a successor to Kean after he left the club last month.

Rovers managing director Derek Shaw told Press Association Sport today that the former Norway defender became the board's number one choice on the back of an impressive interview.

"He interviewed well and he moved straight to the top of our list," said the ex-Preston chairman.

Berg, who works as a television pundit for Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 Sporten, was an outspoken critic of owners Venky's this summer following Blackburn's relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

In a widely referenced quote that he appears set to hear plenty about in the coming days, starting with tomorrow's 8.30am press call, Berg said of the top job at Rovers: "There are no real managers with credibility who would accept a job like that."

Shaw is unconcerned by this and looking positively towards an assault on promotion at the first attempt.

He added: "We're not interested in things like that, we're not interested in any negatives at all. We're moving forward."

A host of high-profile names were touted as potential successors to Kean, with former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp ruling himself out of the running yesterday and approaches for Berg's former Ewood team-mates Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay, coaches at Tottenham and Fulham respectively, rejected earlier this month.

Wayne Wild, co-chairman of the Rovers Trust - a group committed to fan ownership of Blackburn - believes the club's concluded pursuit of a former player may be misguided.

"I think the protracted process underlines that there are still problems at board level and senior management level at Blackburn Rovers," Wild told Press Association Sport.

"It seems to be more important to give the fans an ex-player's name rather than getting somebody who would be more expensive and more experienced.

"This highlights the importance of having a supporters trust, so that supporters get to voice their input at the highest level."

He added: "Henning Berg was obviously a very well-liked former member of the playing squad on two occasions, so will certainly be welcomed by the fans."

Earlier, Kjetil Rekdal told TV 2 Sporten that he expects his former international team-mate to be a success and welcomed the news as a boost to Norwegian football, with Stale Solbakken already employed in the npower Championship as Wolves boss.

"This is fantastic news for Norwegian football that we get another coach in England," said Rekdal, currently the coach of Aalesunds FK in his homeland. "It is a sign that we are doing something right.

"I think it is a great advantage that he has been at the club before and knows the environment there. He knows what is expected.

"I know Henning is a wise coach and wise strategist, and when you have been there before it is always easier to gain support for your ideas."

Blackburn lie fifth in the Championship having been led by caretaker boss Eric Black for the past six matches.

PA

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