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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Wigley relishes challenge
Southampton head coach Steve Wigley
Southampton head coach Steve Wigley is relishing the challenge of managing the club at the second time of asking.

Wigley was a reluctant caretaker between Gordon Strachan's departure and Paul Sturrock's appointment.

But after taking over from Sturrock on a permanent basis Wigley said: "It's my job now to take the club forward.

"I think I have the respect of the players, otherwise I wouldn't have taken the job, and they certainly have my respect."

Wigley was shoved into the limelight when he was promoted from coaching the club's academy scholars to take charge for two games last season.

I have to unite us as a club and move onwards
Southampton head coach Steve Wigley

In those two games, Southampton came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Everton, and drew 1-1 at Blackburn.

On Sturrock's appointment, Wigley was happy to shun the limelight and return to coaching the youngsters.

But having been handed the reins again by chairman Rupert Lowe, Wigley is more confident in his ability the second time round.

He insisted: "I'm not a caretaker. I have been installed as head coach, and it's my responsibility to take this club forward from here on in.

"I have to unite us as a club and move onwards, and I'm sure the supporters will get behind me and the team against Bolton on Wednesday."

Kevin Summerfield's departure with his mentor Sturrock leaves Southampton short-handed on the coaching side and Wigley said: "There wll be some restructuring."

Wigley's former Forest team-mate Paul Hart, currently managing Barnsley, could be approached to join him.

Former Forest, Birmingham and Portsmouth winger Wigley said he had already spoken to chairman Rupert Lowe about bringing players in.

He said; "There's really only one area of the squad at the moment where injury means we're a bit short of cover.

"The system we have here is that the coach identifies who he wants, informs the chairman and we take it on from there."




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