YOU could almost hear the ghost's of Maine Road packing their bags and leaving. Having rid themselves of an over-preoccupation with happenings at Old Trafford by appointing a former Manchester United player, Steve Coppell arrived to become Manchester City's eighth manager in 10 years - preaching realism and good sense. There were no bold boasts just a promise of hard work and hope. And to put the supporters minds at rest the new manager said he had no intention of selling Georgi Kinkladze. 'As far as I'm concerned I want him to stay. I've seen him on television this year and live last season and he's an exceptionally gifted individual. But an individual won't win you anything. You need a team and unity of purpose,' Coppell said. 'Expectations have to be realigned. The reality of the First Division has to be adjusted to. People say there's no quality in it but it's a war every Saturday. 'It's hard to express yourself and hard to play the football you played in the Premiership because the emphasis is on stifling. 'I don't know if we can go up straight away but it has to be the target. There are 37 games to go and, the old cliche, we will try to win each and every one of them.' Coppell's appointment after three-and-a-half years away from management ends one of the most embarrassing episodes in City's ill-starred recent history in which leading figures have been falling over themselves to reject the opportunity to come to Maine Road. As a City supporter outside the ground recently put it 'Anyone who can sort this lot out, even a Red, is welcome.' Coppell, 41, leaves his position as technical director at Crystal Palace to take over a club that has had little technique and scant direction since Alan Ball resigned three games into the season. He, along with Phil Neal who resigned from Cardiff to become his assistant, have accepted a position that was rejected conventionally by George Graham and Dave Bassett and by numerous others through the media. Bassett's decision is particularly paradoxical as Coppell, nominally, was his boss at Selhurst Park. 'I have blinkers about this job,' Coppell said referring to Bassett's decision not to move north. 'I didn't think about anybody else. This is a massive club and a golden opportunity that I'd have been a fool to turn down.' Francis Lee, the chairman who has come increasingly under fire from supporters in the interregnum between Ball and Coppell did not feel his new man's Old Trafford connections would be a problem. 'It's so long since he played for United you can't bring it into it,' he said. 'It's something that happened in the past.' Listing Coppell's attributes for the job he added: 'I think he's got great integrity, he's got a proven record at Crystal Palace, a great knowledge of the game and he's a good motivator.' Coppell's arrival will make him an unusual figure at City's Platt Lane training ground in that his record in Manchester derbies is on the plus side. A right winger whose skills were hugely reinforced by his intelligence, he was on the losing side only four times in 17 appearances for United between 1975 and 1983, scoring five goals. After retiring at 28 with 42 England caps because of a knee injury, Coppell became the youngest manager in the league with Palace where his record included promotion from the Second Division an FA Cup final appearance in 1990 and third place in the First Division in 1991. 'I was eight years at United and nine at Crystal Palace,' he said. 'So I'm an animal that tends to roost.' City's beleaguered support will hope so, but there is a precedent to draw comfort from. Manchester United were short of cash and in a state of crisis when they appointed a former Maine Road player as manager and did not regret the decision. His name was Matt Busby.