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Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Alan Irvine appointed as Sheffield Wednesday boss

By John Sinnott

Alan Irvine
Irvine guided Preston to last season's Championship play-offs

Championship side Sheffield Wednesday have appointed former Preston boss Alan Irvine as their new manager.

The 51-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Hillsborough and replaces Brian Laws, who left the club by mutual consent in December.

Irvine was sacked as manager at Deepdale shortly before Christmas after two years in charge.

"I am delighted. It is a club with great traditions and a brilliant outlook for the future," Irvine said.

"While the league table shows us that there is a lot of hard work in front of us between now and the end of the current season, it's a challenge I'm relishing and I believe the squad here at Hillsborough is more than capable of pulling away from the current situation at the bottom of the Championship.

"Sheffield Wednesday has made excellent progress off the pitch in the past 12 months and it is now my job to make sure that progress is mirrored on the pitch.

"I'm really looking forward to starting work with the players and I can't wait to get out on the training pitch to start preparing for the vital matches we have coming up this month."

No striker yet

Wednesday, still saddled with debts of around £26m, face a relegation battle after a run of 11 league games without a win has seen them slide to second bottom in the table.

Laws departed soon after last month's 3-0 defeat at Leicester, ending a three-year spell at the club.

Several other managers have been linked with the post in recent weeks, including Alan Shearer and Darren Ferguson, who was appointed as Irvine's successor at Preston on Wednesday.

Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford said: "It was essential for us to secure the best possible candidate to revive the team's fortunes this season but, more importantly, in the long term.

"Alan Irvine brings genuine coaching pedigree to Hillsborough following several years of Premier League experience as David Moyes' assistant at Everton and an impressive record in charge at Preston.

"He's a high-calibre manager, respected throughout football, who has proved he can make a team competitive at this level, and we feel very fortunate to have secured his services."

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see also
Ferguson named as Preston manager
06 Jan 10 |  Preston
Irvine appointed Wednesday boss
08 Jan 10 |  Sheff Wed
Manager Irvine sacked by Preston
30 Dec 09 |  Preston
Worthington and IFA to hold talks
04 Jan 10 |  Sheff Wed
Watson to assist Owls caretaker
17 Dec 09 |  Sheff Wed
Sheff Wed part company with Laws
13 Dec 09 |  Sheff Wed

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