Latics unveil Joyce as new manager

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

Wigan Athletic have appointed Warren Joyce as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 51-year-old was the No.1 choice of chairman David Sharpe to succeed Gary Caldwell, who was sacked last Tuesday.

Discussions between Joyce - Manchester United’s Under-21 manager since 2010 - and the Latics hierarchy have been taking place over the last few days.

And a deal has finally been struck that will see him take charge for the first time against Reading this weekend.

Joyce has earned rave reviews for his work behind the scenes at Old Trafford over the last six years.

Indeed, as speculation grew of Joyce’s imminent arrival at the DW, a number of United fans took to social media to express their outrage at the situation.

During his time at Old Trafford, Joyce has overseen the development from talented teen to established first-teamer of dozens of stars including Leicester title-winners Danny Drinkwater and Danny Simpson, and internationals such as James Chester (Wales) and Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland).

Oldham-born Joyce also guided United to 2011 Youth Cup glory, with the side including England international Jesse Lingard and a certain Paul Pogba, now the world’s most costliest player.

He’ll also be a familiar face for Latics trio Reece James, Andy Kellett and Nick Powell, who played under him at United.

After early speculation linking Karl Robinson and Ryan Giggs to the Latics vacancy, Joyce became the short-priced favourite at the end of last week.

A minor spanner was thrown into the works on Monday night with Aston Villa reportedly wanting to bring him in as No.2 to new boss Steve Bruce.

But Joyce’s ambition to be a No.1 made him a perfect fit for Latics.

Joyce, who was educated at Cowley School in St Helens, made over 600 appearances during a playing career spanning nearly two decades before hanging up his boots in 2000.

He played almost 200 times for both Bolton and Preston, and spent time at Plymouth and Burnley before finishing his career as captain of Hull.

It was during his time with the Tigers that Joyce first dipped his toes into management, filling the role of caretaker-manager and player-manager, and saving the club from dropping out of the Football League in 1999 - a feat still referred to by the Hull supporters as the ‘Great Escape’.

He resurfaced in 2006 for a two-year stint at Royal Antwerp, before joining United in 2008, initially as co-manager of the reserves alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.