John Hartson admits interest in Wales role

 

John Hartson has confirmed his interest in taking over as Wales manager, but has ruled out the possibility of working with rival candidate Raymond Verheijen.

The position as national team boss became vacant after the death of Gary Speed in November, and Verheijen, who served as the 42-year-old's assistant, has claimed it was Speed's wish for him and fellow coach Osian Roberts to take over the side ahead of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

Verheijen reiterated his desire to be involved in a new regime yesterday, claiming the Football Association of Wales would be "turning their back on Speed" if they opted to bring in a different managerial team.

But Hartson, who was interviewed for the job previously but lost out to Speed, hopes to win a role in the set-up despite conceding his lack of experience.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: "I was asked last night who would I appoint and I said myself. I was interviewed for the job this time last year so I don't really know what has changed since then.

"I have a lot of support out there. I tick a lot of the boxes. But I also understand as well that I don't fit the criteria. In terms of the experience, Chris Coleman is way ahead. He has managed in three different countries, Fulham in England, Spain, and he's just come back from Greece.

"The only thing going against me is my lack of experience. But you look back at Mark Hughes. Mark Hughes' first job in football was the Welsh job. He was younger than myself, he was 34. He went straight into the job, and look at what he's done."

The 36-year-old has no interest in teaming up with Verheijen, though, who he criticised for suggesting Speed wanted him to replace him.

He added: "How can you work with somebody who wants your job? There is no way you can do that.

"Raymond wants the job. He has publicly stated it was Gary's wish for himself and Osian to take this country forward, which was an incredible statement to put on Twitter. What on earth did he mean it was Gary's wish?

"Gary's wish was to take this team forward. But for Raymond to come out and say that publicly was an absolute disgrace. He has publicly stated that he wants the job, how on earth can you go in and take a job knowing that your number two, your most trusted ally, wants your job? You cannot work with that person."

PA

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