Manchester City have named Stuart Pearce as their new boss.
The 43-year-old has held the position in a caretaker role since Kevin Keegan quit as boss two months ago.
Pearce, a former England captain, has led the club to eighth place in the Premiership and on the brink of a place in the Uefa Cup.
Chairman John Wardle had intended to name Keegan's successor in the summer but changed his plans given the impact Pearce has had on the Eastlands outfit.
Pearce admitted that the 'hard work starts now' after he was appointed on a permanent basis.
"The board have shown faith in me from day one and in my mind I've done the job for two months," said Pearce.
"I'm very pleased and honoured to be made manager. I don't know any other way than to win things and judging by results the players are backing me.
"But now the hard work starts and I'm looking forward to the challenge at this fantastic football club.
"The oomph of a new manager has helped with our recent results, but all the players have pitched in with 7/8 out of 10 performances in all the games.
"I try not to baffle them with science, everyone knows their job and they've delievered."
Wardle admitted new manager Pearce was the 'outstanding' candidate for the position.
"He has shown the all-round ability and qualities to be manager of this club on and off the pitch," said Wardle.
"We have received numerous applications for the job but we didn't feel there was any need to continue the process. Stuart is the outstanding candidate.
"The board look forward to working with him and to building on our progress."
The announcement will have the overwhelming backing of the City squad, and the club's supporters and should guarantee a full house for Sunday's crucial clash with Middlesbrough.
Victory is almost certain to guarantee European football next season, an unthinkable prospect when the former England skipper took charge.
Martin O'Neill and Iain Dowie were originally linked to the post but four wins from eight games, and a current seven-match unbeaten run, made all talk of alternative choices irrelevant.
And, rather than wait until Sunday, Wardle opted to link the appointment to the unveiling of a mosaic in honour of the most successful manager in the club's history, Joe Mercer.