Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman has been appointed as the new Wales manager. REUTERS

Chris Coleman has been unveiled as the new Wales manager replacing the late Gary Speed, who died in November.

The Football Association of Wales confirmed the appointment of the former Fulham and Real Sociedad boss at a press conference in Cardiff, and the FAW's chief executive Jonathan Ford admitted the last few months had been a difficult time since Speed's tragic death on the 27 November.

Ford said: "This has been a very difficult process. We have explored every avenue and every scenario possible. We have taken on board the thoughts and views of the backroom staff, the players and the supporters.

"All along we believe that we have been respectful and dignified and had no wish to be involved in a public debate on the appointment of Gary's successor.

"Gary was the manager of Welsh football and of course we want to continue his legacy.

"He was not a figurehead, he was the manager and that is why we have decided on the appointment of Chris Coleman to build on the excellent foundations put in place by Gary."

Coleman began his coaching career under Jean Tigana at Fulham in 2002 before assuming a managerial position the following year. He left Craven Cottage after four years before having spells at Spanish club Real Sociedad, Coventry and Greek club Larissa, who he left earlier this month.

He admitted it was a "bittersweet" sensation to be taking over the Wales job after the death of his good friend Speed.

"I was very close friends with Gary, 30 years, so it's a difficult experience for me. It's probably the most difficult press conference I've ever done or ever had to do I imagine," Coleman is quoted on ESPN Soccernet.

"But I'm very proud to be the new manager and I'm also very sad because of the situation we find ourselves in."

The FAW will look to Coleman to continue Wales' recent resurgence under Speed, after the side won four of their final five games before their former manager's death in November.

"It's not just the wins but the philosophy and style of play and I think we all agree it's refreshing and we've enjoyed it. It was always going to be difficult for the next Wales manager, whoever it was going to be, because of the situation," he added.

"I think it's even more difficult for me because of my relationship with Gary. I've already spoken with the FAW members this morning and I said 'excuse me if I don't seem that excited, I am excited, I'm just a little bit subdued because of the circumstances. It won't be easy but I'm looking forward to it."