Kolo pledges to make Wigan Athletic fans 'proud' after accepting 'unbelievable challenge'

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Kolo Toure pledged to make the Wigan Athletic fans 'proud' after accepting the 'unbelievable challenge' of becoming the club’s new manager.

The 41-year-old was unveiled at the DW Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, just over a week after being confirmed as Leam Richardson's successor.

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After getting to know the players during their warm-weather camp in Turkey, he's been putting them through their paces at Christopher Park ahead of Saturday's trip to Millwall.

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New Wigan Athletic manager Kolo Toure met the media on Wednesday afternoonNew Wigan Athletic manager Kolo Toure met the media on Wednesday afternoon
New Wigan Athletic manager Kolo Toure met the media on Wednesday afternoon

And he admits he can't wait to get stuck into the task of helping Latics up the Championship table.

When asked why he'd chosen Wigan to be his first top job in management, he said: "It's simple.

"Wigan is a really, really good club, and when the opportunity came, I was very, very excited.

"This is a great opportunity for me at this point in my career, for my staff as well, and we are looking forward to it.

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"It's a great challenge for me, a great challenge. For me, it's perfect.

"The last manager, Leam, did a great, great job in bringing the team up into the Championship.

"Me and my staff will be trying now to push on to the next level.

"This is an unbelievable challenge in front of us, and we're really looking forward to it."

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Toure says his mentality in management will be similar to during his playing days.

"The first thing I want to do, and my staff wants to do, is to make sure the fans can be proud of the team," he said.

"In every single game, we will be playing with the heart, with energy, and working as hard as we can.

"Any team that wants to beat us will have to work very hard to do so - that is my philosophy.

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"That is how I was as a player, and that will never change now I am a manager.

"It's all about the process, and we want to build here.

"We have to trust the process we are looking to implement.

"We've all had a good chat - with the chairman and the chief exec - and we know where we want to go.

"And we will be doing everything we can, every single day, to take this football club where it belongs.

"I want to be the best that I can be, and I believe we have a really good group of players here, really honest guys who want to work hard."

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Toure also thanked Brendan Rodgers for acting as a ‘mentor’ during their time together at Celtic and Leicester City.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brendan, who has been my mentor as a coach," he added.

"When I finished playing, I never had any time off, I went straight into coaching with Brendan.

"I have been with him for nearly five years, and that has been a fantastic process for me.

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"Just because someone has a good playing career, it doesn't mean they will have a good coaching career.

"That's why I wanted to work alongside a great manager, and that was Brendan, to learn the skills needed to implement his ideas onto players and clubs.

"That process has taken five years, but when Wigan comes along, you can't turn that down...not when you've been waiting for five years."