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Airbus UK Broughton: Andy Preece tipped for success by Wales manager Chris Coleman

WALES manager Chris Coleman has backed his old team-mate Andy Preece to succeed at Airbus UK Broughton – providing he gets the financial support he needs.

Coleman, who took over as national boss last month, told the Chronicle he believes the former Bury manager has the pedigree and desire to achieve his aims with the Wingmakers.

But he said the backing of the board will be crucial if Preece, who left high-flying Northwich Victoria to take over from Craig Harrison, is to break new ground at the Airfield.

“He’s got good experience, he’s ambitious and he’s still got the desire, which is very important,” said Coleman, 41, who played alongside Preece at Crystal Palace in the mid-1990s.

“As long as he gets the backing there’s no reason why he can’t be successful here. I’ve known him a long time and he’s a great guy. He’s worked at a higher level and done the business, so as long as he gets the backing and support he’ll do well.”

Coleman, who previously managed Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry City and Greek side Larissa, was at Airbus on Sunday for a Q&A session organised by the FA of Wales.

He added: “Most levels of football are the same – it depends what backing you get.

“Has he got the money to improve the team? If he’s got that he’s got every chance because of the experience he’s already got.”

Former Stockport, Blackpool and Bury forward Preece signed a three-year deal to become director of football at Airbus last month, leaving Northwich well-placed for an Evo-Stik Premier Division promotion push despite their off-field troubles.

His right-hand man Andy Morrison, a former Manchester City captain, also left the Victoria Stadium to become assistant manager at the Airfield.

Coleman, who won 32 Welsh international caps, took over as national team manager after the death of his close friend Gary Speed.

Steve Williams, chairman of the FA of Wales’ international committee, told supporters at Airbus he was hopeful more of the national side’s matches could be staged in North Wales.

Mr Williams said Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground could host friendly internationals, but confirmed the ground cannot be used as a venue for competitive games because it falls short of Uefa standards.

He added: “We’re trying to see what grant aid we can get to enhance the stadium and try to get it up to standard, but unfortunately it’s a no-go at the moment.”