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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Wilkins looking for manager's job
By Andrew McKenzie

Ray Wilkins
Ray Wilkins hopes to return to a management role after leaving his job at Millwall, following the appointment of Steve Claridge as Lions manager.

He had been number two to Dennis Wise at the New Den since October 2003 but will stand down now that Claridge has succeeded Wise in the hotseat.

"I'd love to do it on my own," Wilkins told BBC Sport. "There's nothing better than making the decisions.

"But if it was to be a number two than that wouldn't be a problem."

Former QPR and Fulham boss Wilkins was assistant manager at Chelsea and Watford, alongside Gianluca Vialli, before joining Millwall.

And the ex-England midfielder is keen to return to work in the upper levels of English football.

He added: "I will work as high as I can work. I had my time with Luca at Chelsea and it is fantastic and enjoyable when you are working with exceptional players.

"You want to work with the best players you possibly can.

Steve Claridge was very popular with the Millwall supporters and the players when he was here as a player
Ray Wilkins

"We'll see where we go from here. It's what I've been doing since I left school. I aim to stay in football - I absolutely love it. We'll just see what happens.

"We had some good times at Millwall. Reaching the FA Cup final was splendid for a club like Millwall and it was really enjoyable times for me.

"But unfortunately it has come to an end and we just have to look forward.

"I've no regrets whatsoever. We've had a great time with some smashing people, the players worked their socks off for us and we couldn't have asked anything more of them.

"Whoever takes over will be inheriting a fantastic group and I sincerely wish them the best of luck."

Wise looks set to return to a playing role, with Southampton keen to take the former England midfielder.

Former Millwall player-manager Dennis Wise and assistant Ray Wilkins
Wilkins and Wise led Millwall to the 2004 FA Cup final

Wilkins added: "I said to Dennis 'you've got to play as long as you possibly can'.

"Your football career ends and you don't put your boots on anymore, which is a very sad time in your life.

"When it comes to management he will not have a problem, no problem at all."

Wilkins believes the appointment of Claridge, who has had brief spells as a manager with Portsmouth and non-League Weymouth, will be a popular one with the Lions fans.

"I've never seen Steve work as a manager so it would be wrong of me to say how he will do," he said.

"But he was very popular with the Millwall supporters and the players when he was here as a player, so I would assume they would take him on with no problems at all."


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