Promotion Nilsson's premier goal

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The Independent Football

The new Coventry manager Roland Nilsson has set his sights on helping the club secure a quick return to the Premiership. Nilsson has been confirmed as Gordon Strachan's successor after a successful spell as the caretaker manager for the past month. The Sky Blues have risen from 19th place to fifth in the First Division since he stepped up, collecting 16 points from a possible 18.

Their only defeat during that spell was against Chelsea in the Worthington Cup last week. But the Coventry chairman Bryan Richardson had indicated 10 days ago that Nilsson would be rubber-stamped as manager and has been good to his word.

Nilsson's step into management means the former Swedish international's playing career will take a back seat, though he will not be hanging up his boots. He said: "I have agreed personal terms and now it is just a question of finalising everything and putting pen to paper on the deal. I am glad it is all sorted out. I can put it to one side and concentrate on the manager's job.

"When I started this run as caretaker-manager I said the aim was to get promotion back to the Premier League – and the aim remains the same. It will be great if I can do that. We were all disappointed to go down last season after so many years in the top division. We can't look further forward than trying to achieve that at the moment."

Nilsson is unlikely to have much money at his disposal to bring in new players and will probably have to wheel and deal and offload from his current squad to bring in any major new signings. "It is going to be tough but things will have to be discussed when a player pops up we might want," he admitted.

It is unlikely, though, that he will make many more appearances in the first team shirt. "My approach to playing will be a different from now on. It will not be the main priority and I will have to concentrate on the manager's job. But I will keep myself fit by playing in the reserves and be ready to step in when required."

Elsewhere in the First Division, Portsmouth's injury jinx has continued after their striker Emanuele Morini damaged an ankle in his first training session with the Fratton Park club. Morini had been invited to join up with Graham Rix's squad after failing to break into Sam Allardyce's Bolton first team regularly since transferring from the Italian club Roma.

Pompey have a selection problem up front with the former Celtic forward Mark Burchill out for the rest of the season, and Lee Mills and Rory Allen struggling to regain full fitness. Rix had hoped the 19-year-old Morini would solve his problems in attack and was due to watch the player in a reserve match against Southend. A club spokesman said: "He was due to play in the reserve fixture but the jinx on our strikers has struck again. His future prospects with the club are uncertain."

Nottingham Forest have signed Damien Lynch, who was released by Leeds during the summer, until the end of the season. Lynch has spent the past six weeks on trial at Forest under manager Paul Hart, who was responsible for bringing him through the ranks at Leeds.

The 22-year-old Irishman starred alongside Jonathan Woodgate, Harry Kewell and Stephen McPhail in Leeds' FA Youth Cup-winning team in 1997. His progress since then has been disrupted by injuries.

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