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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 15:08 GMT
Lee is new Bescot boss
Former Wolves boss Colin Lee has been confirmed as new Walsall manager
Colin Lee ihas taken over at Bescot Stadium
Colin Lee was installed as Walsall's new manager and immediately pledged that the Saddlers could avoid relegation from the First Division.

Walsall are firmly entrenched in the bottom three, three points behind Sheffield Wednesday, having played a game more.

But Lee came out fighting at the press conference announcing his appointment.

Former Wolves' boss Lee said: "this is no lost cause, and I shall do my very best to guide this club to safety.

We are probably looking to achieve 50 points for safety. That is achievable
Colin Lee

"The priority is to keep Walsall Football Club in the First Division.

"It will not be easy, but it is a challenge that I am looking forward to.

"I faced a similar situation at Torquay last season and succeeded," said Lee who performed a minor miracle in retaining the Gulls' Football League status after his arrival in March.

"This will be just as difficult and we will be playing at a higher level.

"My task will be to lift the players, so that we are producing a high level of performance on a consistent basis.

"If we can do this, results will follow.

"The task is hard, but possible," said Lee who has set the Saddlers a target.

"We have 16 League matches to play, and there are 48 points at stake.

Neither myself or any other director approached Colin Lee or any prospective candidate until all discussions with Ray Graydon had been satisfactorily concluded
Walsall chairman Mike Lloyd

"We are probably looking to achieve 50 points for safety.

"That is achievable and don't forget some of our relegation rivals will be experiencing their own problems during the next three months."

Lee was appointed following the sacking of Ray Graydon and Saddlers' chairman Mike Lloyd stressed that no approach had been made to the former Wolves' boss before Graydon's dismissal.

In a statement to the club's official webstie, Lloyd said: "Neither myself, any other director or Walsall FC employee, or agent acting on behalf of Walsall FC, approached Colin Lee or any prospective candidate until all discussions with Ray Graydon had been satisfactorily concluded.

"We fully accepted that when the Board made the decision to terminate the services of Ray Graydon as Walsall manager that it would stimulate debate, and that a variety of contrasting opinions would be aired.

"That is right and proper, and everyone is entitled to express their views.

"However, what we are not prepared to accept is for the integrity of the various parties involved in the events of the last few days to be unfairly questioned.

Wolves woe

Former Chelsea striker Lee is no stranger to West Midlands football.

He went to Wolves in 1995 as assistant to Mark McGhee and took over as manager when McGhee was sacked in 1998.

Lee lasted two years at Molineux until he was sacked in December 2000 following a run of poor results.

Walsall chairman Lloyd said: "We had to move quickly and we feel that Colin meets the criteria we were looking for.

"He has a wealth of experience, knows the First Division scene, and his record proves that he is quite capable of achieving some outstanding results."

Lee's first game in charge of the Saddlers will be the FA Cup, fourth round tie at Charlton Athletic.

New Walsall boss Colin Lee
"Hopefully I can try to resurrect a difficult season"
See also:

23 Jan 02 |  Walsall
Walsall confirm Nicholl exit
23 Jan 02 |  Derby County
Graydon drops Rams hint
22 Jan 02 |  Walsall
Walsall sack Graydon
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