Chris Coleman has been appointed as Fulham manager on a permanent basis, the Premier League club have confirmed.

The 32-year-old former central defender, who becomesthe Premier League’s youngest manager, has been in caretaker coach since Jean Tigana resigned on April 17.

“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity. It’s a massive challenge and a big responsibility,” Coleman said.

“I said at first I wasn’t interested in the job full time but I got a taste for it and changed my mind.”

“As I approached my last game in charge, I realised I could do as good a job as some of the big names being linked with the job.

“I threw my hat into the ring along with Steve Kean and to get the job ahead of the likes of Klaus Toppmoller is a massive compliment.”

“When Jean Tigana left the club there was talk of a mass exodus of the French players,’ Coleman added.

“But they were exceptional for me at the end of the season and there has been no sign of an exodus as far as I can see.

“It’s not ideal that some of the players will learn about my appointment through the media, but now the announcement has been made I will be contacting all the players to talk to them. “I can’t wait for next season to start.”

Coleman impressed the Fulham hierarchy after taking over from Tigana. Under his stewardship, the relegation-threatened club won three of their last five games to avoid the drop.

Coleman, a former Welsh international defender whose career was curtailed when he was seriously injured in a car crash in January 2001, was initially reluctant to take over on a permanent basis. However, Fulham’s revival in the latter stages of the season, combined with an overwhelming vote of confidence from the playing staff, convinced him to apply for the post.