Former Wales boss Bobby Gould has taken over as the manager of Third Division Cardiff. Gould, 54, is renewing links with former Wimbledon supremo Sam Hammam, whose take-over of the Welsh club is expected to be confirmed later this month. Under Hammam, Gould guided Wimbledon to their finest hour in the 1988 FA Cup final, when as massive underdogs the `Crazy Gang' beat Liverpool 1-0.

“I have remained very close friends with Bobby since we finished working together 10 years ago,” said Hammam. “We need to be recruiting players and Bob can compare with anyone in the land when it comes to recruiting players from the lower divisions. He can organise a superb scouting system at all levels, whether it is for the first team or the youth team. If we waited too long and started to make changes later we might be 5-10 points behind the leading pack.”

Wimbledon were relegated from the Premiership last season after Hammam had relinquished his final interests in the club. Gould resigned as Wales boss last year after four years in the job and will take over from Billy Ayre, who steps down to the position of assistant manager at Ninian Park.

“This is a colossal challenge,” said the former Coventry manager. “We're in the Third Division and we want to get to the Premiership. There can't be any bigger challenge, but we look forward to it.” Ayre added, “No one man is bigger than the club. This club has to be taken forward and I'm just a cog in the wheel. I can fully understand Sam's reasoning. I am completely happy with the situation.” (PA)