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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Coleman named Fulham boss
Chris Coleman
Coleman guided Fulham to Premiership safety
Chris Coleman has been confirmed as the permanent manager of Fulham.

Coleman has been in charge of first-team affairs since April following the sacking of Jean Tigana.

The move was intended to be temporary, but Coleman guided the Cottagers away from relegation trouble to become front-runner for the full-time job.

And he pipped former Bayer Leverkusen coach Klaus Toppmoller and Derby interim boss George Burley to the post.

At 32, Coleman becomes the youngest manager in the Premiership.

"I'm delighted to be given the opportunity. It's a massive challenge and a big responsibility," Coleman said.

"I said at first I wasn't interested in the job full time but I got a taste for it and changed my mind."

Fulham won three of Coleman's five games in charge and finished the season in 14th place in the Premiership.

He added: "As I approached my last game in charge, I realised I could do as good a job as some of the big names being linked with the job.

"I threw my hat into the ring along with Steve Kean and to get the job ahead of the likes of Klaus Toppmoller is a massive compliment."

Academy director Keane has been confirmed as Coleman's number two.

One of Coleman's first tasks will be to keep hold of Fulham's leading players.

But he said: "When Jean Tigana left the club there was talk of a mass exodus of the French players.

"But they were exceptional for me at the end of the season and there has been no sign of an exodus as far as I can see.

"It's not ideal that some of the players will learn about my appointment through the media, but now the announcement has been made I will be contacting all the players to talk to them.

"I can't wait for next season to start," added Coleman.

Chief executive Bruce Langham said chairman Mohamed Al Fayed had headed the search for a new manager.

"When we began our search, we had a set of criteria we needed to fulfil," Langham insisted.

"The most important thing for us was to appoint someone who recognises the style we have at Fulham and Chris fills all the criteria we were looking for.

"Chris was the right man in the right place at the right time.

"If we had simply been looking for the cheap option I would not have wasted our time interviewing the likes of Louis van Gaal and Klaus Toppmoller.

"But Chris' contribution hijacked their chances of getting the job."

Fulham boss Chris Coleman
"I have got a taste for it and am delighted to get this chance"


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