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Oxford United manager Liam Manning.

Bristol City have confirmed Liam Manning as their head coach on a contract to June 2027, with the Championship club adopting a fresh approach after sacking Nigel Pearson.

Manning, whose CV includes a spell at the Belgian side Lommel, owned by the City Football Group that controls Manchester City, represents an intriguing appointment and a clear shift in model. His first match in charge is at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

The 38-year-old has impressed at Oxford United, leading them to second in League One this season after fighting off relegation upon taking charge in March. He previously led MK Dons to the League One playoffs in 2021-22.

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Manning, who began coaching at Ipswich aged 21 and became West Ham’s Under-23s head coach, was identified by the Bristol City hierarchy as the outstanding candidate to implement a club-wide attacking playing style across the academy and first team.

Bristol City are 11th in the second tier after Pearson’s former assistant, Curtis Fleming, led the team to victory over the bottom club Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday. Fleming left on Tuesday and Manning has been joined by his former Oxford assistant Chris Hogg.

Jon Lansdown, the Bristol City chairman, recently suggested the club should be in the mix for the playoffs this season. “Liam is a great fit for the club and the style of play we want,” he said. “He has a very detailed approach to coaching, improving players and getting the best out of them.”

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Manning said: “This is a terrific opportunity and one that I’m really looking forward to. If you look at the vision of the club and where they want to get to and how they want to get there I think there is really good fit and alignment with my journey and where I want to get to.”

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