Dwight Yorke says he is “deadly serious” about wanting the Aston Villa job – and has been backed by Sir Alex Ferguson to be a success.
Yorke first revealed his desire to replace Tim Sherwood on Monday, suggesting that his knowledge of a club he represented on 287 occasions between 1989 and 1998 marked him out as a credible candidate.
Yorke developed a reputation for enjoying life off the pitch just as much as he did on it during his playing career, but the 43-year-old insists those days are long behind him.
“I am not that same person and, believe me, I am deadly serious about what I could do for a club that means so much to me,” he told The Sun.
“I look around the Midlands and see West Brom, Stoke and Leicester all doing so much better.
“Villa are supposed to be not only the biggest club in that area — but in the whole country.
“It pains me to see the state it is in right now — I want to see the fans smiling again.
“People will point at my lack of managerial experience. But I am young, enthusiastic, I know my football — and more importantly — what we need at Villa.
“I know this club head to toe and still have a great relationship with those fans.”
Yorke claims he has the backing of the most successful manager in Premier League history, Ferguson, who he played for at Manchester United for four seasons after leaving Villa.
“Sir Alex has spoken to me and given me his backing, he believes I can do it,” Yorke added.
“Despite him releasing me from United, we have always remained on good terms and I am an ambassador for the club.
“If I was such the bad boy people have made out, I am sure that would not be the case.
“I have done all my coaching badges at Manchester United and St George’s Park. I’m convinced I could guide Villa up the table.”
Despite Yorke’s desire, former Lyon boss Remi Garde remains the firm favourite for the job, with Saint-Etienne’s Christophe Galtier reported to be the Midlands club’s second choice.