Molby makes it five for Swansea

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The Independent Online
Football

Jan Molby yesterday became the fifth man to take charge of the struggling Second Division side, Swansea City, this season.

The 32-year-old Danish international, who made 292 appearances and scored 59 goals in 11 years with Liverpool, has been named player-manager at the Vetch Field. He will plunged straight into a relegation battle with the Welsh club, who are second from bottom, desperate for victory at basement rivals York City tomorrow.

Molby, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract, replaces Jimmy Rimmer, who took over in a caretaker capacity for the second time this season when the club parted company with Kevin Cullis, who was plucked from the obscurity of running non-League Cradley Town's youth team by the businessman Kevin Thompson, whose proposed takeover of the Swans then collapsed.

Cullis, who followed Frank Burrows, Bobby Smith and Rimmer at the helm, lasted just seven days - and two defeats, one of which was watched by Molby. Doug Sharpe, the club's chairman, claimed Molby's appointment would herald a period of stability for a side which has won just once in the last 15 games.

With only 14 matches to go, Molby, who has been in English football since joining Liverpool from Ajax for pounds 575,000 in 1984, faces a tough task in preventing Swansea slipping into the bottom division for the first time since 1987.

"I'm not making any guarantees, but I certainly have not come here to manage a Third Division team," Molby said. "The chairman has brought me here mainly as a player, and I can certainly make a far bigger impact on the field than I can in the office. I've trained twice today with the players. I've spoken to them all and we realise we just have to get on with it."

Asked whether Liverpool's footballing tradition would be brought to bear on Swansea's relegation dog-fight, Molby replied: "It will be a combination of football and battling it out. One thing you learn at Liverpool is that you have to keep everything simple and, if we can get that across to the players here, then we'll do well."

Molby was a part of the Liverpool "double" side of 1986 and also won championship honours in 1990 and an FA Cup winners' medal in 1992. However, his opportunities in the past two seasons have been limited - first by injury - as Roy Evans built a new-look side, and, this term, during which he has had loan spells at Barnsley and Norwich City, he has been completely left out of the Anfield picture.

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