Wilkins returns to Fulham

Ray Wilkins has become the latest high-profile member of Rene Meulensteen's backroom staff after being named as the new assistant head coach of the Barclays Premier League strugglers.

Wilkins, 57, returns for a second stint at Craven Cottage having managed the then-Second Division club between 1997 and 1998 before he was replaced by Kevin Keegan.

His appointment to Meulensteen's staff come hot on the heels of the arrival of Alan Curbishley as first-team technical director last week, and just two days on from a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Hull that left the club mired in the bottom three.

"The addition of Ray, along with that of Alan Curbishley on Christmas Eve, provides the club with the experience and expertise necessary as it aims to secure Barclays Premier League status for a 14th consecutive season," Fulham said in a statement.

Meulensteen, who replaced Martin Jol as manager on December 1, also welcomed the arrival of Wilkins, who took charge of QPR in a player-manager capacity between 1994 and 1996 and later had spells as assistant manager at both Millwall and Chelsea.

"I am delighted that the chairman and the CEO have, again, backed my desire for further experience and support within the backroom staff," Dutchman Meulensteen said.

"Retaining our status of being a Barclays Premier League club next season is vitally important to our long-term plans, and I know that Ray's own experience and his knowledge of the game will be a vital component in our success."

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