Japan's Chiba sign Liverpool coach Miller as boss

May 8, 2008

Liverpool first-team coach Alex Miller will take over as manager of Japanese side JEF United Chiba after the two parties reached an agreement, the J League club announced today.

The 58-year-old former Rangers star is expected to arrive in Japan on Saturday to start work at Chiba and will attend their league match against Kyoto Sanga.

'We are convinced that Mr Miller is a wonderful person who can improve our team,' Chiba president Hirotake Miki said in a statement.

'We, as the whole club, would like to work together with our new manager to focus on our games for the rest of the season.'

Chiba are currently bottom of the J. League standings after collecting just two points from 11 games so far this season before Croatian coach Josip Kuze was sacked on Wednesday.

Former St Mirren and Hibernian manager Miller joined Liverpool in 1999 as chief scout but became first-team coach following the arrival of Rafael Benitez in 2004.

Miller becomes the second prominent member of the Spaniard's backroom staff to quit Anfield this season following the departure of countryman Pako Ayesteran, his assistant, last August.

Benitez confirmed he would seek a replacement for Miller during the close season.

'It is very positive news for Alex. This is a very good opportunity for him to coach in Japan,' he said.

'It means we will be promoting some of the existing coaching staff and also over the summer we will be looking to bring in a replacement.

'We have some names and options but need more discussion first.

'I want to wish Alex all the best in his new job.'