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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Management the way ahead for Wise
By Andrew McKenzie

Swindon boss Dennis Wise
Wise turned down a playing deal with Coventry
Former Chelsea and England midfielder Dennis Wise has admitted his playing days are numbered.

Wise ended the season with some star performances for Coventry, but he rejected a new deal to drop down to League Two as Swindon's player-manager.

"Other clubs wanted me to play but these old legs can't go on much longer," said Wise, who will be 40 years old in December.

"They might do a little bit more this year but after that I don't think so."

This will be Wise's second stab at management.

The first - a 19-month stint with Millwall - ended in May last year in acrimonious circumstances following a failure to see eye-to-eye with chairman Jeff Burnige.

He turned down management offers and spent the 2005-2006 season playing for Southampton and then Coventry, where he finished the campaign in fine form.

But after taking Millwall to the 2003 FA Cup final and subsequently into Europe, some eyebrows were raised when Wise chose to take up the reins at Swindon.

Wise has no regrets about his decision to join a side newly relegated to the bottom tier of the Football League.

"I was offered a job in a higher league but it wasn't right," he added.

"I had a quiet chat with Swindon and they were expecting me to say 'no'.

"I asked for certain things: I wanted to run the whole lot and at a lot of clubs you don't get that. But Swindon gave me that opportunity and the chance to bring in the people I wanted.

There will be new additions next year but I'm finished for this year

Dennis Wise

"It's nice to feel wanted, they made me feel welcome, they wanted something different and they got something different."

So for the first time in his career Wise finds himself outside the top two divisions.

"It doesn't worry me," says Wise, who started his career at Southampton over 22 years ago.

"I'm looking forward to it. It's something different, we wanted to learn and we're going to learn.

"I enjoyed it at Millwall - we got to a Cup final and Europe - but I was more disappointed not to have got them in the play-offs because we should have got there.

"I made a couple of mistakes but you learn and hopefully I won't make too many more mistakes - I'll make some but not as many as before.

"I think it's only right that we do it from the bottom and work our way up. It will make you a better person. It would have been easy for me to take the other job."

Wise has been joined at the Robins by his former Chelsea team-mate Gus Poyet, who rejected the offer of a director of football role with the Uruguay national side to become Swindon's assistant manager.

But fans hoping to see the pair on the field could have a wait as their fitness work has had to take second place to their coaching responsibilities this summer.

Wise said: "Me and Gus will play if we have to. We have put everything into getting the players to do what we want them to do and it's hard to do both.

"Once they've got it themselves we can concentrate on doing some training ourselves and if we have to we'll throw ourselves on."

Gus Poyet (left) could be joined at the club by Paul Ince
Poyet (left) could be joined at the club by Ince

Another familiar face who could help form a dream midfield is former England international Paul Ince.

Ince is keen to take his first steps into coaching after leaving Wolves, and Wise has held talks with his old pal.

"He is going to think about it," said Wise. "He's a good friend and I get on very well with him.

"If he does come it will be a favour for me. He wants to get into coaching and he can do an awful lot at our place so we'll wait and see."

The high-profile presence of Wise and Poyet at the County Ground may have something to do with Swindon entering the season as one of the promotion favourites.

But with little money to play with and 16 first-team players in the final year of their contracts, Wise stresses this season is about consolidation.

"We haven't spent too much," he said. "We have a year of sussing the situation out and then really coming to terms with it.

"We have got to get to know the players a bit more and there will be new additions next year but I'm finished for this year."

SEE ALSO
Brian Horton on League Two
01 Aug 06 |  League Two
League Two form guide
01 Aug 06 |  League Two
Wise to sit out opening matches
31 Jul 06 |  Swindon Town
Ince eyes Swindon coaching role
30 Jul 06 |  Swindon Town
Swindon confirm Wise as manager
22 May 06 |  Swindon Town
Wise is handed Championship award
05 Mar 06 |  Coventry City
Wise concludes Southampton stint
26 Dec 05 |  Southampton


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