Speed takes charge of Wales despite inexperience

BY foxsports • December 14, 2010

Gary Speed was hired to coach Wales on Tuesday despite the former midfielder's limited managerial experience.

Just four months after being given his first managerial job by Sheffield United, Speed left to join Wales on a 3 1/2-year contract.

"These things happen in football, where the timing's not always great," Speed said. "I was disappointed to leave Sheffield United because I feel I had a job to do there and was fully committed, but obviously when your country comes calling it's a tough decision you have to make. I feel in my heart it's the right one.

"To be fair to them, they've been fantastic throughout and made the decision really easy for me."

On his lack of experience, the 41-year-old Speed accepted that "it's always going to be thrown at me."

But Speed's focus is lifting Welsh football "from top to bottom," with the team having failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

"We need to consistently compete on a world stage and not just come close to qualifying every now and again, every 12-15 years," Speed said. "It's my job to make sure the structure in Welsh football is such that we're consistently competing.

"As a player, I've been part of campaigns where we've just missed out. But in between those campaigns there were gaps of eight to 10 years. It's my job to make sure this country develops in a way so we can consistently compete on a world stage."

Speed, who played 85 times for Wales, will fill a position that has been vacant since John Toshack resigned in September.

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