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New manager impresses Chairman

18 March 2013

Lee was the outstanding candidate - Simon Corney

Latics' Chairman Simon Corney described new manager Lee Johnson as the overwhelming choice of the Board of Directors.

Mr Corney (pictured) explained that Johnson was the outstanding candidate from 120 applicants adding he also came highly recommended by several big games in the game.

He also pointed out that age - Johnson is the youngest manager of any of the 92 League clubs - and a lack of experience were not an issue.

Mr Corney said: "Lee was the overwhelming choice of the whole board and I am sure we are going to have some exciting times.

"We interviewed Lee several times and it was a long an exhaustive process and it came after interviewing many other candidates.

"Some people obviously view it as a slightly risky appointment and I understand that. We are absolutely sure Lee is the right guy.

"We are a proud club with a long tradition in the game and heritage. And we would not have appointed Lee if we didn't think he was the right person."

Mr Corney added he was "blown away" by his initial discussion with Johnson.

He said: "I went home that night thinking I could not pick him for the reasons mentioned.

"There is a well known phrase in football that if you are young enough, you are good enough which applies on the field.

"Why should it not apply off the field as well in the management position?"

Mr Corney asked his fellow board members to interview Johnson independently without giving any clues to how he felt.

He continued: "They were of the same impression as me. And I was more scared where he might end up if we didn't take him.

"I would like to think we are the stepping stone for Lee to go on to greater things which I believe he will."

Mr Corney added it is not a rash appointment and Johnson is the most qualified manager of the seven managers who have served in his time at the club.

He said: "Lee has grown up in a family where his father is a well-known manager and his uncles and brothers are also in the game. This has been coming for a long, long time.

"It was the whole package - he knows so many people in the game and he came highly recommended. I added all that up and I thought this is the kind of guy I want.

"I had to put the age factor out of my mind and says let's see what he can do. And my gut feeling is that we have made the right choice."

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