Forest Green Rovers have appointed former Everton assistant manager Duncan Ferguson as their new head coach.
The 51-year-old is taking on his first full-time managerial role and replaces Ian Burchnall who left on Wednesday with the club bottom of League One.
Former striker Ferguson made 273 appearances for the Toffees and also had two spells as their caretaker manager in 2019 and 2022.
He has signed a five-year contract with the Gloucestershire side.
“I plan to be here for a while,” Ferguson told the club website.
“We have a bit of a fight on our hands to stay up in League One and I am ready for the challenge.”
Former Everton team-mate Tony Grant will work alongside Ferguson as assistant head coach.
Forest Green are four points from safety and have won just five of their 28 matches this season, having played more games than their relegation rivals.
They are without a victory in their past eight matches with their last win coming on 10 December.
As a player, Ferguson scored 73 goals for Everton in two spells from 1994 to 2006. He began his career at Dundee United and also played for Rangers and Newcastle United. He was also capped seven times by Scotland.
He joined Everton’s coaching staff in 2014 and left last summer to pursue his first managerial position.
“We’re all excited to welcome Duncan, he is someone I have admired from a far for a while,” Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said.
“It’s just fantastic to have the opportunity to work with him in this next phase of our journey toward the Championship.”
Prior to the announcement of Ferguson’s appointment, Vince said the club was looking to appoint someone with “experience” as swiftly as possible with the hope of bringing in “a couple more” players during this January transfer window.