Wales set to announce Chris Coleman as new manager

 

Chris Coleman is expected to be named as Gary Speed's successor as Wales manager tomorrow.

The Football Association of Wales have called a press conference to be held at St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay at midday, where the former Fulham and Coventry manager's appointment is set to be confirmed.

The 41-year-old had revealed he was set to hold talks with Welsh football chiefs this week following his departure from Greek side Larissa, having emerged as the favourite to land the role after Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs reportedly turned down the chance to take the job.

Former Wales striker John Hartson had also publicly announced his interest while Raymond Verheijen, assistant manager under Speed, had not hidden his keenness to be involved in the set-up.

The FAW are keen to continue the progress that Wales had made with Speed in charge, with the Dragons winning four of their final five games during the former midfielder's tenure before his death in November.

That run of results moved Wales into the world's top 50 and earned them the tag of 2011's highest climbers in the FIFA rankings.

But the association were wary of being seen as insensitive by starting a recruitment process too soon after Speed's death.

The search for a new manager has stepped up in pace over the course of the last week, though, and now appears set to culminate in Coleman, who won 32 caps for Wales as a centre-half before being forced to retire in 2002 after suffering serious leg injuries in a car crash, being handed the reigns.

His first game in charge will be the friendly against Costa Rica at Cardiff City Stadium on February 29, which is being played as a memorial to Speed.

One of the first key decisions Coleman will have to make will be over the selection of his backroom staff.

Leading players, including captain Aaron Ramsey and winger Gareth Bale, have expressed their desire that Dutchman Verheijen and coach Osian Roberts be retained within the national set-up.

Verheijen claimed the FAW would "turn their back" on Speed if they were to bring in an entirely new management team, while Ramsey last week criticised the FAW for not consulting him over the appointment process.

Coleman has said he is willing to work with the duo, although it is understood he would be free to select his own backroom staff if he so wished.

Coleman had told Sky Sports on Sunday: "It's a stupid man who goes in there and takes the job, whether it's me or anyone else, and changes everything.

"It is a very sensitive situation so if I am offered the job and I accept it I'll have mixed emotions.

"If it is to be - if the job is mine - then it will be the pinnacle for me. Managing your country is the pinnacle for any manager.

"In another situation, I'd probably be on cloud nine but because of the situation, because it was Gary, who was a close friend, of course I almost feel a little bit guilty that I'm even going to talk about taking the job, because Gary is no longer with us."

PA

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