Warren Joyce: Wigan Athletic appoint Man Utd U21 boss as manager

Warren Joyce and Nicky Butt
Warren Joyce (left) worked alongside ex-Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt with their under-21 side

Wigan Athletic have appointed Warren Joyce, the Manchester United Under-21 boss, as manager.

The 51-year-old former Bolton, Preston, Plymouth, Burnley and Hull City midfielder has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the struggling Championship club.

Chairman David Sharpe said: "Warren has everything we are looking for."

Joyce succeeds Gary Caldwell, who was sacked on 25 October, five months after winning promotion from League One.

Joyce, whose United team have finished top of the FA Professional U21 Development League for the past two seasons, will take charge of Wigan for the first time when they host Reading this Saturday.

Sharpe added: "He is an exceptional coach, who has a reputation within the game for being among the very best at bringing through young players, as his record at Manchester United shows.

"More than that, he has a winning mentality which transmits to his players and he has achieved great success in his time at United.

"Warren has had several high-profile opportunities but wants to move back into management, and it is a measure of how highly we rate him that we are making such a long-term commitment."

Joyce has been part of the staff at Old Trafford since May 2008, having joined from United's feeder club Royal Antwerp, where he was manager.

His first managerial role came, first as player-coach with Hull, then as manager from November 1998 to April 2000 before coaching jobs with Leeds United, Stockport County and Tranmere Rovers, prior to his move to Antwerp.

Wigan are 22nd in the table, having won only three of their 15 leagues games since returning to the second tier in May.

Joyce worked with Wigan players Nick Powell, Reece James and Andy Kellett during their time at Old Trafford.

He is the middle generation of a family of footballing Joyces, father Walter having played for Burnley, Blackburn Rovers and Oldham Athletic, while son Wade, who started at Oldham, is currently with National League side Chester.