Kelly's heroics win appointment as Leicester manager

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The Independent Football

Rob Kelly was appointed Leicester manager on a permanent basis yesterday, as a reward for turning the Foxes' season around, but pledged to remain true to the vision of his sacked predecessor, Craig Levein.

Kelly has been confirmed as manager on a one-year rolling contract after preserving City's Championship status.

Levein appointed Kelly as his assistant in December 2004 but, with the team languishing in the relegation zone, Levein was sacked in January and replaced by Kelly on a game-by-game basis but the board then extended his tenure until the end of this season.

After having won seven, drawn three and lost two of the dozen League games that he has been in charge for, Kelly has been rewarded after guiding Leicester to 16th in the table, 13 points above the drop zone.

"Craig Levein had a vision, a way forward for this football club," Kelly said. "And it was something I and everyone else bought into. Although things stalled for a while, it's important we continue with that vision of development and growth. What we want is players with hunger and a desire to succeed."

Kelly's side take on Preston at the Walkers Stadium today before travelling to Coventry at the Ricoh Arena on Monday. Kelly said that only then would he sit down with the assistant manager and goalkeeping coach, Mike Stowell, and the coach, Ray Graydon, to discuss their futures. "Things have happened very quickly," said Kelly. "And when you're in the middle of it all, you don't really have time to reflect."

The Foxes have also announced the appointment of Andrew Taylor as chairman with the previous incumbent, Jim McCahill, to step down to deputy chairman on 1 June.

The Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, says he is prepared to leave Elland Road after receiving hate mail from fans following the side's loss of form in the race for automatic promotion. The Elland Road club, though assured of a play-off spot, have not won in six games and have failed to score in over six hours.

Blackwell said: "If people are not happy with what I'm doing, I don't have to hang around here. If they don't want me, then that's the way it is going to be."