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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Gazza confirmed as manager at Kettering Town

Paul Gascoigne has promised Kettering he will not walk out on them after becoming the non-league side's new manager.

Gascoigne is part of a consortium which has taken over the Conference North club and will try to take the Poppies into the football league for the first time in their history.

The Rockingham Road job is his first managerial position after sporadic attempts to prolong his career as a player and coach.

The England legend, who most recently had a coaching spell at Boston, takes over as manager from Kevin Wilson, who becomes director of football. Ex-Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis will become first-team coach.

'It feels good, I am excited about what is ahead of us,' said Gascoigne. 'Kettering haven't been in the Football League for 133 years and one of our main objectives is to get them there.

'I'm not going to say we'll do it this season or next season - there is a lot we can improve on with either the players we have now or the players we bring in.

'We are looking forward to doing our best to take Kettering forward.'

Top of Gascoigne's list of priorities is to make the club professional rather than part-time and the club will then look to sort out the club's stadium issues while working towards promotion.

'I feel ready, Kevin has done a tremendous job here and it's now a matter of trying to work together and move the team forward,' Gascoigne told Sky Sports News.

'We have many plans, we want to make the club professional as soon as possible. We will look at the players, hopefully all of them will want to become professional and the next step is to try to build a new stadium.'

Of his previous coaching roles, Gascoigne said: 'No-one really knows the situations before with these clubs.

'There were reasons why I left. This is a different situation where I put money into the club. I can reassure the fans and players, I will not be walking away.'

Whether Gascoigne will officially be player-manager is not clear, but the Newcastle-born star is unable to play for the foreseeable future after a neck operation.

'I've had an operation so for the next few months I've got to take it easy. I don't know yet (when I will be playing again), I don't know if I can face another operation. It is a tough league and these guys work hard.

'I'm scared of another operation, it's not nice having your throat opened up and have them mess with your spine. But it was a successful operation, touch wood, and I look forward to doing the job and will take it seriously.'

New chairman Imraan Ladak, who is believed to have provided the bulk of the finance for the deal, takes over from Peter Mallinger and has vowed to make money available for players.

'I can confirm a consortium of myself, Paul Gascoigne and Mick Leech had an offer accepted and hope to have the paperwork signed before Saturday's game.

'This club has possibly the largest fan-base in non-league football. Paul was determined to wait for the right club before committing his future and Kettering represent everything that is good about football. Real players playing non-league for the love of football, not money.

'We want to progress to a full-time playing squad and resolve the stadium issue.'

Regarding possible signings, Ladak said: 'We've had a look at a couple of players in the last few weeks. There will be money to spend but we won't be paying over an acceptable price for players.

'We are very happy with the squad Kevin has assembled but we do need to add some depth and if Paul, Kevin and Paul feel a big name would be right for the team we will support that.

'I said we will be looking to bring in a couple of players with Champions League experience and I think the fans would be excited if we could bring in a couple.'

The Poppies take on Droylsden at home on Saturday and the new managerial team of Gascoigne, Davis and Wilson will work together for the first time.

'All three of them will be at the game, we will be discussing that,' Ladak said.