Coppell: I didn't think Coleman would be a boss

Former Crystal Palace and Reading boss Steve Coppell has admitted he did not think new Wales coach Chris Coleman would become a football manager.

Coleman, who resigned as boss of Greek side Larissa 11 days ago, signed a two-and-a-half-year deal on Thursday to succeed the late Gary Speed.

NEWS: Coleman succeeds Speed as Wales boss
Larissa: Coleman still contracted to us

The 32-times capped Wales defender went into management after suffering a career-ending injury in 2001 while with Fulham.

He went on to take the helm at the Craven Cottage-based outfit for four years from 2003-2007, winning 61 of his 176 games in charge, before moving on to Coventry City and later Spanish side Real Sociedad.

However, Coppell – who managed Coleman during his spell as Palace boss – believes injury spurred his former pupil to become a football coach.

“Chris Coleman, I certainly didn't think would be a manager. He's one of those larger than life characters and I didn't think he'd go into it. Maybe if he had completed his footballing career then he might not have gone into management,” Coppell told Yahoo!

“There is something about players getting injured and still feeling they have something to offer. That maybe explains his entry into management.

“He has of course gone on to do well and earned Fulham a top-half-of-the-table finish in the Premier League.”

Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew is another former player who plied his trade under Coppell at Selhurst Park in the late 1980s.

And Coppell says he was more confident that Pardew – whose side currently occupy sixth place in the Premier League – would be successful as a football manager once his playing days were over.

“The one player I always thought would be a good manager is Alan Pardew. He managed when he played and he was so down to earth, and he has proven himself to be a top manager now,” said Coppell.

“I signed him from non-league, from Yeovil, when he was about 25 and he played in the [FA] Cup final for me. He always managed his own Sunday team and was very interested in everything to do with the job. He was a leader.

“Even though he came from that non-league background he had a seniority about him, which gave him a presence.

“It was no surprise to me when he went on to management and is now doing so well at Newcastle."

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By Vaishali Bhardwaj