LIAM Manning has described becoming the new Bristol City head coach as a ‘terrific opportunity’.

The former Oxford United boss was announced as Nigel Pearson’s replacement at Ashton Gate earlier this afternoon, signing a three-and-a-half year contract after meeting the players for the first time today.

Manning’s assistant Chris Hogg has joined him at the Sky Bet Championship side, who sit 11th and four points shy of the play-off places in the second tier.

“This is a terrific opportunity and one that I’m really looking forward to,” Manning told the Robins website.

“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.

“You want players that you can coach and are mouldable and on an upward trajectory in their career.

“I think that brings certain behaviours in terms of drive, intensity and ambition which align with how we want to work.”

Robins chairman Jon Lansdown added: “Liam is a great fit for the club and the style of play we want. He has a very detailed approach to coaching, improving players and getting the best out of them, as his record at MK Dons and Oxford United shows, while he has valuable experience within the City Group and in Belgium.

“As soon as we made the change, Liam was our first choice and we are grateful to Oxford United for the extremely professional way they have approached the departure of someone who was doing a fantastic job for them.

“We are excited about the arrival of Liam and Chris, and fulfilling the ambition we all have for the club with this talented and committed group of players.”    

Manning took over as United boss in March, guiding the club to safety in League One last season.

This campaign has seen the U’s flourish, as they sit second in the third tier and three points behind leaders Portsmouth.

Craig Short will take on the role of interim head coach at United, supported by former player and current academy coach Chris Hackett.