Chris Coleman open to Wales manager job talks

Chris Coleman says he would relish the opportunity to be Gary Speed's successor as Wales manager.

Former defender Coleman, 41, was interviewed for the position during the process that resulted in Speed's appointment in December 2010.

"If you're asked to coach or manage your country then it's an honour," said Coleman, who has resigned as manager of Greek side Larissa this week.

"If that phone call takes place then of course I'm happy to accept it."

Coleman has walked away from his job as manager of second division side Larissa because of financial problems, but he stressed the timing was "purely coincidental" in relation to Wales' search for a new manager.

The Football Association of Wales has assembled a six-man panel, led by president Phil Pritchard, to appoint Speed's replacement.

No discussions have taken place with any potential candidates, according to the FAW, and chief executive Jonathan Ford has said it is "too early" to say whether an appointment will be made before the friendly with Costa Rica in Cardiff on 29 February.

Ryan Giggs has been suggested as a contender, while Speed's assistants, Raymond Verhaijen and Osian Roberts, are keen to retain their roles and have received backing from Gareth Bale and other members of the squad.

Coleman, who has won support from former Wales midfielder Mickey Thomas, suggested that he would be willing to work alongside the pair if he took over.

"Any manager going to any new job has to put his own stamp on it," he said.

"Don't get me wrong. If it ain't broke, you don't fix it but everybody has a little tweak here and there.

"You'd want your own people with you and, if there are people already in place doing a good job, you have to sit down and consider all the possibilities.

"Whoever takes the job will make their own mind up on what they want and what they don't want, and continue from there."

Roberts has urged the FAW to make a prompt appointment in order to facilitate the preparation work needed for the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaing in September.

Coleman, who won 32 caps for Wales, says he appreciates the delicacy of the situation following Speed's death in late November 2011.

"Gary put his stamp on it, said Coleman, who played alongside Speed for Wales. "So whoever gets the job has big boots to fill.

"It's more sensitive for me because he was one of my closest friends in football and I still can't get my head around the whole situation, if I'm honest. I'm sure a lot of other people are the same.

"So it is quite sensitive. It's difficult for the FAW also because, if they wait too long, they are not being proactive but, if they appoint someone too quickly, they haven't waited long enough.

"So they're in a difficult position. I think everyone understands that. They've been very professional in the situation.

"But, if you get a phone call when you're an out of work manager, you can't be too choosey."

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