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New Tranmere manager Dave Watson
"Our goal is promotion next season."
 real 56k

Friday, 4 May, 2001, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Watson takes over at Tranmere
New Tranmere boss Dave Watson
Watson briefly took the helm at Everton in 1997
Dave Watson has been named as the new manager of Tranmere Rovers.

The 39-year-old Everton centre-back had been employed in a coaching role at Goodison Park, but the two-year deal he has signed with Tranmere ends his 15-year association with the Toffees.

Watson, succeeds John Aldridge, who left Tranmere shortly before the end of the season and was then replaced on a caretaker basis by another former Everton star Kevin Sheedy.

Watson has said he will work with the current caretaker duo of Sheedy and Ray Matthias, but wants to appoint his own number two.

Management is something I have always fancied, and this is a perfect place for my first job
Dave Watson
The new boss is confident he has a squad capable of challenging for immediate promotion from Division Two next season.

He said: "I've got a good idea of what is needed at this level, and the quality of this squad is there for Tranmere to go straight back up to the First Division."

His first task will be to try and convince the likes of Nick Henry and Clint Hill that there futures remain with the club and try to hold on to the highly-rated Jason Koumas.

"I have got to sit down and talk to the players one to one and see what can be done.

"I will tell them my plans and that I want them to be part of that, but it all depends on what players feel themselves.

"In football, players always leave or are sold from every club, so I will have to see what happens now."

Watson was briefly caretaker manager at Goodison Park following the departure of Joe Royle in March 1997, taking charge for the final seven games.

I feel I have served a pretty good apprenticeship and my aim for Tranmere is promotion in my first season
Dave Watson
And he admitted that that taste of the job left him wanting more, though he would like to see his new team transfer their cup form into the league.

"I've seen what Tranmere have been able to do in their cup runs, I can hardly forget how they came to Goodison Park this season and beat Everton in the FA Cup.

"They have been able to raise themselves for a succession of great cup victories against teams from the Premiership," said Watson.

"They have to get it into their heads that every game is a cup game and if you can focus them in that way, you shouldn't have any problems."

Watson, made 550 appearances for Everton and has now completed the hat-trick of being involved with all three Merseyside clubs, having begun his career at Liverpool.

Watson will train with Tranmere this weekend before returning to Goodison for Everton's final home game of the season against Sunderland.

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