Leicester seek salvation through skills of Bassett

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The Independent Online

Dave Bassett was confirmed by Leicester City yesterday as the man they hope has the troubleshooting experience to keep them in the Premiership this season. In becoming Peter Taylor's successor as manager of the Premiership's bottom-placed club, Bassett ends a 10-month exile from the game since leaving Barnsley last December.

Micky Adams has left his job as Brighton manager to become Bassett's assistant, and is seen by the Filbert Street hierarchy as the club's long-term choice as manager. Adams has worked with Bassett before at Nottingham Forest. It is expected that, once Adams is deemed ready, Bassett will move into a more senior role at the club with the younger man taking over as team manager.

For now, Bassett faces an enormous task to revive the Foxes, who are bottom of the Premiership and who on Tuesday night were hammered 6-0 at home by Leeds in the Worthington Cup. "I think my middle name is Red Adair," Bassett said. "My reputation is such that I am used to situations like this. I accept it. I am happy to be in this situation.

"I have no preconceived ideas. I want a good performance from the team and from individuals. If we start to move in the right direction we have a hope of rebuilding the spirit and taking the team further."

The Leicester chairman, John Elsom, confirming Bassett's appointment until June 2003, said: "Dave is vastly experienced in top-flight football and we believe he has the attributes the club needs at this time." Adams' contract will run until 2004, and Elsom confirmed that he hoped the former Brighton manager would eventually replace the 57-year-old Bassett.

"These appointments provide a strategic opportunity for management succession," Elsom said. "Our team is on the floor at the moment and we're looking for Dave and Micky to pick them up with their experience and enthusiasm."

Bassett said: "I think Micky is the young, sexy one and I'm the old codger. I am not going to be going on forever. I have had the experience of 20 years as a manager. I look forward to the day he replaces me. It would prove that we have both been successful."

Leicester have paid Brighton compensation for Adams' services, believed to be around £200,000. With Adams gone, the Sussex side may be on the verge of instigating an unlikely job-swap, after immediately approaching the now out-of-work Taylor about becoming their new manager.

The former England coach turned down the chance of a coaching role with Southend United yesterday, but he is understood to have been offered a back-room role at Tottenham, which may tempt him more than the manager's job at Brighton. The final decision may come down to the financial terms Brighton can offer. The Sussex club have placed the coaches Bob Booker and Martin Hinshelwood in temporary charge of first-team affairs.

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