Ex-Hatter Hartson departs as Wales assistant manager

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Former Hatters target man John Hartson has stood down as Wales assistant manager.

The 38-year-old, who scored 14 goals in 51 caps for his country, has been a member of Chris Coleman’s staff during their unsuccessful 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time with Wales. Everyone knows how passionate I am about my country.

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“The work I now do as a pundit for the BBC is taking up more of my time. With another child on the way I need to spend some time with my family.”

Hartson was appointed to Coleman’s staff in the summer of 2012 when the former Fulham manager took over following the death of Gary Speed.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford said: “We fully understand the reasons behind John’s decision.

“We are all aware of his passion for Welsh football and hope that he can continue to play a role in the development of the game in Wales at all levels.”

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In October, Hartson revealed he had offered to resign following criticism of the Wales team and management.

He added: “I have learnt a lot working with Chris, Kit (Symons) and Osian (Roberts).

“I wish them and the players all the best for the future and really hope they qualify for the UEFA European Championships in 2016.”