STEVE Lomas has agreed terms to leave St Johnstone and take over the vacant managerial role at Millwall.
The 39-year-old guided St Johnstone to their highest-ever finish in the Scottish Premier League, third, this past season, but has now been tempted south by the Lions. He replaces Kenny Jackett, who quit at the end of the season and has since taken over at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In a message on the Perth club’s website, St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown said: “Steve will go down in the Saints history books as a successful manager during his relatively short time in charge and although he won’t get the chance to lead the team into Europe a second time, he joins Owen Coyle and Derek McInnes in having been successful enough in Perth to warrant a crack at a bigger club.
“We wish him well with that and thank him for his efforts with St Johnstone. Finally we would like to thank the Millwall management for the courtesy and professionalism they have shown on dealing with this matter.”
Millwall also confirmed the appointment on their website. In a statement, Millwall chairman John Berylson said: “I was tremendously impressed with Steve.
“He has great passion and energy, knows a lot about Millwall as a club already, and this is a job he is genuinely hungry for.
“In some respects, following Kenny Jackett is a tall order, but Steve is very different from his predecessor, younger and with a fresh approach.”
The former Manchester City and West Ham midfielder has the potential to prove a controversial appointment with Millwall fans given his close association with the Hammers, but Berylson expects him to win them over.
“I believe our fans will take to him, and to those who say we shouldn’t have appointed a former captain of our biggest rivals, my response is, he has the desire to become a great Millwall manager,” he said.
“He understands the rivalry and is keen to be judged over time on his commitment to our club and what he can help us achieve.
“From our point of view, we want the best man for the job, and we believe that man is Steve Lomas.”
Lomas took over as St Johnstone boss in November 2011, having previously worked as reserve team coach at West Ham.