Kolo Toure ready for 'unbelievable challenge' as new Wigan boss

Kolo Toure at the DW Stadium in Wigan Credit: ITV News Granada

Kolo Toure says he is relishing the “unbelievable challenge” of being appointed the new manager of Wigan Athletic.

The 41-year-old former Manchester City and Liverpool defender’s first managerial role sees him taking charge of a side who are currently lying third-bottom of the Championship.

Wigan sacked Toure’s predecessor Leam Richardson in November following a run of six defeats in seven matches.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday Toure praised the players and said he is looking forward to the challenge.

“These are great guys," he said. "I think Leam did a great job to bring them up and he made them work as hard as they could until now.

"For us, with my staff, I will try to push them even more to get some results. I’m looking forward to the challenge, this is an unbelievable challenge.”

The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool defender moved to the Latics after leaving his coaching role at Leicester.

He added: “We want to make sure every fan of Wigan is proud of the team. Every game we play, we are going to play with heart.

"We will play with a lot of energy, working hard, and any team playing against that will have to work really hard to beat us.

"This is my philosophy, that’s the way I used to play as a player, and that will never change."

The former Ivory Coast international joins the Championship club on a three and a half year deal from Leicester City, where he was first team coach.

His new coaching team includes former Crawley manager Kevin Betsy and Ashvir Johal who also joins from Leicester.

Ashvir Johal, First Team Coach, Wigan Athletic

During the press conference Toure expressed his gratitude to his “mentor” and former boss Brendan Rodgers, whom he played for at Liverpool.

He later joined him at Celtic and Leicester working as a coach.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers and first team coach Kolo Toure during a training session in 2021 Credit: PA

Toure said: “It was a process for me. I knew that to be a good player doesn’t mean you’ll be a good manager or coach – that’s why I felt like I needed to work with a top manager, which was Brendan Rodgers, and learn all the skill a manager needs.

"That’s what I’ve been doing for five years, and when Wigan came, you can’t turn that down, when you’ve been waiting for five years.”

Wigan’s first match under Toure is at Millwall on Saturday.