Harford named as U's assistant boss

MICK Harford has been appointed as Colchester United's new assistant manager, and he celebrated by spending most of yesterday on the telephone!Harford will be the No.

By Carl Marston

MICK Harford has been appointed as Colchester United's new assistant manager, and he celebrated by spending most of yesterday on the telephone!

Harford will be the No.2 at Layer Road, working alongside new boss Geraint Williams, who was himself only officially given that role a week before the new season started.

The duo will be in the dug-out together tonight as the U's make history by hosting their first ever home league game as a Championship club, against visiting Plymouth Argyle.

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Harford, who has had managerial experience at Luton, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham, cast his eye over the U's in their opening day 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City from his seat in the directors' box at St Andrews.

The priority now is for Williams and Harford to step up their search for new players. Williams himself admitted after Saturday's opener that the club needs four or five new faces, if it is to compete over the whole season.

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“George (Geraint Williams) and I go back a long way. We played together at Derby County, many years ago. They were enjoyably times,” explained Harford last night.

“We have always kept in touch since, and we have constantly bumped into each other at games, in our various coaching and managerial capacities. George is a very familiar face indeed!

“I was delighted to get the call, and am looking forward to the challenge. I have seen a lot of Colchester, and they won promotion on merit. They deserve to be in the Championship.

“I hope to use my contacts in the game to help get a few new players. The squad is quite light at the moment, so we need to sign a few new faces.

“In fact, it's been hard work on my first day. George and I have been on the telephone for most of the day, trying to bring players in. We need to do that before the transfer window ends at the end of this month,” added Harford.

Former striker Harford scored 186 goals in 583 league appearances during his long and distinguished playing career. The 47-year-old started his professional career at Lincoln, before moving on to Newcastle, Bristol City, Birmingham, Luton (twice), Derby, Chelsea, Sunderland, Coventry and Wimbledon.

He broke into coaching and management at Luton Town, where he enjoyed success as the No. 2 to Joe Kinnear in 2001. The Hatters won the Nationwide Division Three title in their first season, and went on to finish ninth in Division Two in 2002-03.

However, Kinnear and Harford both left Kenilworth Road following the arrival of a new consortium, before renewing their partnership at Nottingham Forest in 2004. Harford had a spell in charge as caretaker manager at the City Ground, presiding over six games between Kinnear's exit and Gary Megson's appointment.

He was unlucky to be overlooked for the Forest job full-time. A difficult spell followed at cash-strapped Rotherham, where Harford had his first taste of life as a permanent manager - the Millers won just five of their 30 league games during his reign from April to December, 2005.

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