Fulham to replace Tigana 'in a month'

Alistair Grant
Tuesday 08 April 2003 00:00
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Fulham want to confirm their new manager within a month – and say they have been deluged with more than 30 job applications to replace Jean Tigana at the end of the season.

The Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed told the Frenchman a fortnight ago that his two-year contract extension offer had been withdrawn. Tigana's deal expires on 30 June and he is likely to be told who his successor will be before the last game of the campaign at Charlton on 11 May.

Fulham's chief executive, Bruce Langham said: "Ideally, we would like our new manager confirmed by the end of the season." He said each candidate will be examined against 15 criteria before the club draws up a final shortlist

The Londoners have described the manager they are searching for as "the next David Moyes", the man who quit First Division Preston to mastermind the Everton revival.

The favourites for the post include a quartet of First Division managers: Reading's Alan Pardew; Leicester's ex-Fulham manager Micky Adams; Nottingham Forest's Paul Hart; and Derby's caretaker George Burley.

But Langham added: "Experience of being in charge at the top level in this country or abroad is also important – but it's possible someone may have other qualities which attract us enough to make that less critical. Recognition of the foundations already built here will also be important to us.

"We're looking for someone willing to work with and enhance what we have rather than change everything.

"We are also looking for someone who can inject passion into the team and who is committed to a style of football similar to the way we play."

Langham sits at the head of the club's six-man board of directors. They are formulating a shortlist from which Fayed will select his preferred candidate, and Langham confirmed that the new man at the helm will not be given any new funds to strengthen the squad.

After steering the Londoners into the top flight in August 2001, Tigana has spent over £30m. But his replacement will be told he must deliver success on a shoestring.

"One of the criteria is for the successful candidate to have the ability to work with the squad we have," Langham said. "We've had lots of names suggested to us, either directly or indirectly, and have been impressed with some of the people who have been put forward."

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