Man City cult hero Andy Morrison becomes new boss of international minnows Sri Lanka on three-year contract

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MANCHESTER CITY cult hero Andy Morrison has been appointed as Sri Lanka boss.

The former club captain, 51, returns to management after quitting Connah’s Quay Nomads for a break away from football last October.

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New Sri Lanka manager Andy Morrison skippered Man City to victory in the 1999 League Two play-off final against GillinghamCredit: Rex Features
Andy Morrison quit as manager of Connah’s Quay Nomads early this season

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Andy Morrison quit as manager of Connah’s Quay Nomads early this seasonCredit: Getty

Ex-defender Morrison, who played for City between 1998-2001, will be flanked by Millwall legend Keith Stevens as his number two.

Morrison tweeted: “Looking forward to this incredible opportunity to Manage the Sri Lankan national team.

“Keith and I fly out on Saturday to begin this new chapter in our lives.”

Morrison has been handed a three-year target to lift the fortunes of the national side, who are due to face Uzbekistan, Thailand and the Maldives over the next month as part of qualifying for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

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The Football Federation of Sri Lanka said: “We have started a new project along with Qatar’s Aspire Foundation.

“This project is to uplift and build a stronger and modern national teams in Sri Lanka within three years.

“We are happy to announce the appointment of two coaches with excellent backgrounds.”

Scottish star Morrison was with Plymouth, Blackburn, Blackpool and Huddersfield before joining City under Joe Royle following their shock relegation to League Two.

A goal apiece in his first two games earned him hero status with their fans.

And at the end of his first term he skippered City to Wembley victory in the play-off final.

But in his second match of their return to League One he was famously sent off when he stuck his tongue out and LICKED the face of Fulham loanee Stan Collymore.

The bizarre spur-of-the-moment act earned him a second booking.

Morrison later explained: “Collymore was barking, ‘Who are you? Who are you?’ in my face.

“I told him, ‘I’ve got you licked, mate’ and I stuck my tongue out to illustrate the point and licked his cheek.

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“I haven’t a clue why I did it but the ref came across and showed us both the yellow card.”

Loan stints with Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United followed.

And City released him after the 2001-2 campaign when Kevin Keegan’s men sealed a return to the top-flight.

Noting Morrison’s first-season impact, boss Keegan said: “Andy received cult status when the club gained promotion.

“He is a first-class professional and deserves a chance to further his career.”

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Injury denied him the chance to continue his playing career with Bury.

After being assistant manager to Andy Preece at non-League sides Worcester City and Northwich Victoria, he took over at  Welsh Premier League club Connah’s Quay.

He earned them their first ever taste of Europa League football in 2016 and their first Welsh Cup triumph two years later.

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