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By ESPN Staff

Hutchings 'shocked' by Jewell's Wigan departure

New Wigan boss Chris Hutchings has admitted Paul Jewell's decision to resign just hours after leading the club to Premiership safety came as a complete surprise.

Hutchings was promoted from assistant boss by chairman Dave Whelan after Jewell announced his decision to quit his JJB Stadium post because he needed a break from the game.

Hutchings, who also replaced Jewell in almost identical circumstances in the wake of Bradford's survival in 2000, said: 'We spoke on Sunday evening and Paul said he needed a break.

'That came very much as a shock to me because we have worked very closely for 10 years now. I tried to talk him out of it but he gave me his reasons and was adamant in what he wanted to do.

'It takes a brave man to walk away from what he was got here. But we can't keep going on about Paul - this is a new era for the club and we have got to keep going forward.'

Hutchings said he was undaunted by the prospect of improving his previous managerial record, which petered out after just 137 days in charge at Valley Parade.

Hutchings added: 'I wouldn't be going into this job if I didn't relish the challenge. It is nothing new to me and it is certainly something I am looking forward to.

'It will be much the same approach although I think I am a little bit calmer than Paul. Now I have got to get straight down to the business of preparing for next season.'