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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 15:37 GMT
Saints unveil Burley as new coach
George Burley
Burley left Hearts in October
Former Hearts and Ipswich boss George Burley has been officially unveiled as Southampton's new head coach.

Sir Clive Woodward, the former England and British Lions rugby union head coach, has become director of football.

Burley said: "Sir Clive has been a world class coach in a different sport and working with him will improve my outlook and also help Southampton.

"I will coach and work with the players, bring players in and let players go. My job has not changed."

Burley succeeds Harry Redknapp, who returned to Portsmouth earlier this month after a year with their arch rivals on the south coast.

He added: "I have a two-and-a-half-year contract and hopefully we can build something here."

The length of Burley's contract may be seen as significant, after Woodward revealed he has managerial aspirations but they are "two or three years away".

I believe Saints should, and can, be much higher in the Championship table
George Burley

Woodward later tried to downplay the comment by claiming his ambition to manage in football "is on the backburner".

And Burley was eager to present a united front, insisting: "Clive and I have had detailed discussions on how we will work together and I'm excited by the prospect.

"I'm at my best on the training ground, and my role at Southampton will allow me to concentrate on that."

Saints had been under the caretaker charge of Dave Bassett, who will now leave the club, and Dennis Wise.

"George is the right appointment for the club," Woodward told Southampton's website.

"As head coach he will have complete control of team selection, tactics and coaching issues and I will concentrate on strategic issues which affect the club in less obvious but equally important ways.

"The chairman, George and myself have a very clear idea of where we want to take this club, and I really look forward to working with George.

"I am delighted that we have the full support of the board."

Speculation in recent days centred on former Feyenoord technical director Mark Wotte, but Saints chairman Rupert Lowe eventually plumped for a boss of proven Premiership and Championship experience in Burley.

"I am delighted with the new arrangements that were approved unanimously by the board in line with my recommendation," Lowe said.

"I believe we now have a management team that will deliver stability, results and exciting football."

1956: Born Cumnock, Scotland
1972-85: Plays 500 games for Ipswich, then joins Sunderland
1990: Becomes player coach at Ayr United
1994: Joins Colchester as player manager
1994: Returns to Ipswich as manager
2000: Finally guides Ipswich into Premiership via play-offs
2001: Guides Ipswich to Uefa Cup spot in first season back
Oct 2002: Sacked as Ipswich manager after relegation
Mar 2003: Joins Derby as interim manager; stays on
8 Jun 2005: Resigns as Derby manager
30 Jun 2005: Joins Hearts as head coach
22 Oct 2005: Leaves Hearts - "irreconcilable differences"
22 Dec 2005: Joins Southampton as head coach
Burley, 49, inherits a team who are 12th in the Championship, just four points off the play-off places, following 13 draws from their 23 games.

The Scot, who has also managed Colchester and Derby, added: "I am very pleased to come on board at St Mary's and I am looking forward to my first game at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day.

"Southampton have an exciting young team and I believe that they should, and can, be much higher in the Championship table than they are.

"It's my job to make sure that this happens."

Burley left Hearts in October after less than four months in charge, citing "irreconcilable differences" with the board after falling out with major shareholder Vladimir Romanov.

He previously quit as boss of Championship side Derby in June after claiming his position was "untenable".

Woodward joined Southampton as technical director before the start of the season after quitting rugby following the Lions' disastrous tour of New Zealand.

Despite holding a joint news conference to deny reports the pair did not get on, rumours persisted that Redknapp felt uncomfortable with Woodward's role at the club.

Southampton began their statement concerning Burley's appointment by saying they "are pleased to announce the new management arrangements following Harry Redknapp's return to his spiritual home".

News coneference: New Southampton manager George Burley

Redknapp walks out on Southampton
03 Dec 05 |  Football
Coach Clifford leaves Southampton
15 Nov 05 |  Southampton
Romanov 'asked Burley to return'
15 Nov 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Burley in shock exit from Hearts
22 Oct 05 |  Heart of Midlothian
Woodward out to beat the critics
16 Oct 05 |  Southampton
Redknapp and Woodward deny rift
29 Sep 05 |  Southampton
Burley quits as manager of Derby
08 Jun 05 |  Derby County


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