Soccer-Former Everton interim manager Ferguson named Forest Green head coach

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Watford v Everton

(Reuters) - Ex-Everton player and caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson has been appointed Forest Green Rovers head coach, the League One (third-tier) club said on Thursday, ending speculation linking him with taking over at the struggling Premier League club.

Ferguson, who has been an assistant to several managers at Everton and was also twice the Merseyside club's caretaker boss, was among the names linked with the top job at Goodison Park following the sacking of Frank Lampard earlier this week.

"I'm really delighted to join FGR for the next step of my career, and I plan to be here for a while," said 51-year-old Ferguson, who played for Dundee United, Rangers, Everton and Newcastle United.

Rovers, recognised by FIFA as the "world's greenest football club", are bottom of the standings with 21 points from 28 matches. They were promoted to League One last year.

"We have a bit of a fight on our hands to stay up in League One and I am ready for the challenge," added Ferguson.

The job is the ex-Scotland striker's first full-time managerial role. He replaces Ian Burchnall, who was sacked on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Ken Ferris)