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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Coventry turn to McAllister
Gary McAllister unveiled as the new boss at Highfield Road
McAllister back in familiar surroundings at Coventry

Coventry have confirmed the appointment of Gary McAllister as their new player manager.

McAllister, a former Sky Blues midfielder, returns to Highfield Road from Liverpool to replace Roland Nilsson, who was sacked last week.

But he has already been told there will be no extra funds to freshen up the first team squad.

The appointment marks McAllister's his first foray into management after a successful playing career - and he has vowed to bring in an experienced right-hand man.


It has been a disappointing season for Coventry and I see it as a very exciting opportunity for me
Gary McAllister

But he denied that it was a risky decision to bring him to Highfield Road.

"People might see it as a gamble and I knew that question would arise," he said.

"It must represent a gamble by the board but I don't see it as such.

"It has been a disappointing season for Coventry and I see it as a very exciting opportunity for me.

"I am very privileged to be asked. I am aware there were a lot of senior managers who applied for this job."

The former Scotland midfielder has been told there are no funds available for new players after Coventry failed to reach the play-offs in their first season out of the top flight for 34 years.

McAllister will play for the Sky Blues next season
McAllister will play for the Sky Blues next season

Coventry chairman Mike McGinnity explained: "I have told Gary all he needs to know about the finances of the club. We may as well start as we mean to go on - honestly."

McAllister conceded: "The nature of the game is very money orientated. I know exactly the situation, I know what I am getting into."

But McAllister revealed he planned to lead from the front and continue playing, at least during his first season in charge.

"I will be player manager. For how long that will be I don't know - for one season at least."

McAllister left Highfield Road on a Bosman free transfer but is confident he will be welcomed back to the Midlands club.

"Hopefully I will come back here and get the support of the majority of the fans.


It has been fairytale stuff up there
Gary McAllister on his time at Liverpool

"When the manager is appointed the first thing they ask for is time.

"But I think Coventry need to get back up there. Hopefully we can hit the ground running."

McAllister famously helped Liverpool to five trophies in his first season at Anfield, and he admitted: "It's been fairytale stuff up there.

"I want to thank Liverpool and for them accommodating for this to happen before the end of the season."

McAllister is yet to confirm who he has lined up as his assistant, though he has been linked with Eric Black, who resigned as Motherwell manager on Wednesday.

"I have three or four people in mind but that probably won't happen before the end of the season," McAllister added.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Bob Ballard
"He will start a three-year deal from May 13th"
New Coventry boss Gary McAllister
"It represents a gamble but I have no fear"
Coventry Chairman Mike McGinnity
"There is no money available"
See also:

24 Apr 02 | Coventry City
16 Apr 02 | Coventry City
03 Jan 02 | Eng Div 1
16 Oct 01 | Eng Div 1
21 Apr 02 | Football
24 Apr 02 | Football
Links to more Coventry City stories are at the foot of the page.


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