Dave Whelan claims he knew Uwe Rosler was the right man for Wigan Athletic within five minutes of the meeting the former Brentford boss.
The former East Germany international made his name in England when he joined Manchester City in 1994, spending four years at Maine Road during which time he earned cult hero status amongst their supporters. He also appeared for West Bromwich Albion and Southampton during his playing days, which came to a close in 2003.
Since hanging up his boots Rosler has been carving out a career in management, with Lillestrom, Viking and Molde all on his CV. And he returned to England in the summer of 2011, when he was appointed as Brentford boss. He led the Bees to ninth in his first season, which was their highest finish in six years, and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship last term when his side were pipped by Doncaster Rovers on the final day.
The Griffin Park club are again flying high in League One this season, and this was enough to persuade Whelan to approach him after deciding to sack Owen Coyle last week. And after tying the 45-year-old to the DW Stadium on a three-year contract, the DW Stadium chairman has revealed it was a decision he felt able to make in a matter of minutes.
“When he applied for the job I had in mind his record so I did fancy what he’s done and I did like what he’s done,” Whelan told Wigan Today. “When I met him, I was convinced, I would say, in five minutes that this lad was what I thought I was looking for. He had the right attitude, he said the right things and I liked his attitude totally. It only took me five minutes to think ‘I like this lad and I think I’m going to give him a go’.”
Rosler spoke to his new charges on Saturday as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Millwall, a result which leaves the FA Cup holders in 14th position in the second tier and nine points adrift of a playoff place, which was their minimum target for the season. For now, their attention will turn to the UEFA Europa League, when a win against Maribor in Slovenia is required if they are to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the competition.