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Friday 20 October 2017

Chris Coleman will succeed Gary Speed as manager of Wales

Chris Coleman. Photo: Getty Images
Chris Coleman. Photo: Getty Images

THE Welsh FA is expected to name Chris Coleman as the new Wales manager on Thursday.

Former Wales defender Coleman held talks with the FAW earlier this week after expressing his desire to be Gary Speed's successor.

It's understood that he will be confirmed at a press conference in Cardiff tomorrow lunchtime.

Although the position became available in November, after Speed was found dead at his home in Cheshire, the FAW agreed not to address the situation until the family had been given time to grieve.

However, following intense speculation in recent weeks, the governing body accelerated their search this week. Coleman's first game in charge will be the memorial match for Speed, against Costa Rica, at the Cardiff City Stadium on January 29.

Coleman's former Wales team-mate John Hartson was the only other candidate to publicly announce his interest, while Ryan Giggs and Ian Rush had been suggested as possible "figureheads".

At the weekend, Coleman said; "Every manager wants one day to be in charge of his country and I'm no different.

"But ideally for me the opportunity wouldn't be here. It's only here because of one reason, and I wish it wasn't.

"But of course if I do get the position I'll be a very proud Welshman."

The FAW is keen to ensure a smooth transition from the structure put in place by Speed over the past 12 months, and Coleman has said he is willing to work with assistant manager Raymond Verheijen and coach Osian Roberts.

Verheijen and Roberts have received the backing of many of the players, including captain Aaron Ramsey who stated publicly there should be "as little change as possible".

Coleman joined Larissa in May 2011 as he attempted to resurrect his managerial career after a year out of the game.

His was sacked as Coventry City manager in 2010, after a difficult two and a half years in charge, and before that he spent time in charge at Fulham and Real Sociedad.

He spent four years in charge at Craven Cottage, leading the club to their then highest Premier League finish of ninth, before being sacked in 2007.

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