herald

Monday 20 November 2017

Coleman has call to make on Speed's back-room

Chris Coleman (pictured) was expected to be named as Gary Speed's successor as Wales manager soon with the make-up of his backroom staff likely to be high on the agenda.

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, emerging as the favourite to land the role after Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs reportedly turned down the chance to take the job.

The Football Association of Wales will be hoping that Coleman, the former Fulham and Coventry manager, can 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.

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

But the search for a new manager has stepped up in pace over the course of the last week 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 reins.

Memorial

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 Speed's assistants Raymond Verheijen and 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 had said: "It's a stupid man who goes in there and takes the job, whether it's me or anyone else, and changes everything."

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