Carlisle United have appointed former Bristol City and Crystal Palace coach Keith Millen as their new manager.

The 55-year-old has today been confirmed as Chris Beech's successor.

Millen has been handed an 18-month deal as he is given the job of leading Carlisle away from relegation trouble in League Two.

The experienced coach emerged as United's choice ahead of other candidates including former Rochdale and Bolton boss Keith Hill.

Croydon-born Millen's odds shortened quickly minutes before Carlisle's announcement.

And at 3.45pm the Blues confirmed the appointment of Millen, who is a former Watford team-mate of United director of football David Holdsworth.

The Cumbrians also said in a statement that their existing backroom staff will remain in place.

That will see caretaker boss Gavin Skelton revert to his assistant manager role.

Millen, meanwhile, has been given the title of manager - not head coach, which had been Beech's title.

Millen had a spell in charge at Bristol City in 2010-11 and, most recently, at the helm of Swedish club Örgryte.

He has also coached at Palace, MK Dons, Tottenham and Portsmouth.

United chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “Keith impressed us all when we met him and we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to bring him to the club.

“He has a vast amount of experience. He’s worked with some excellent clubs and managers in playing, coaching and management capacities, and we feel he has the approach that our players will respond to.

“We all know that he joins us at what is a challenging time, in terms of results and league position, but he’s ready to meet that head on. We are looking forward to supporting him as he joins us as our manager.

“On behalf of the club and the board of directors I would like to  go on record with my thanks to Gavin Skelton, Eric Kinder, Mark Birch and the rest of the football staff for the work they have done over the past few weeks.”

Director of football Holdsworth said Millen has "a wealth of knowledge and a lot of contacts in the game."

He added: "He knows the position we’re in and we’re delighted to have him at the club ready to help us climb the league.

“He’s a very good coach which is why we’ve appointed him as our manager. He will manage the players professionally and I’m sure they’ll get a lift when they get on the training ground with him.

“All of the final candidates had done their homework on our players and watched a vast amount of our games, as Keith has. He knows the game and he knows what this division is about.

“I played with Keith at Watford and I know the type of character he is. I haven’t seen him for 20-odd years, but football is a small world at times.

“He’s worked with the likes of Roy Hodgson and Neil Warnock, who are amazing people to learn from. He’s well respected within the top levels of the game having managed at Bristol City and been caretaker at Crystal Palace. You don’t get those jobs without being a good coach.

“The last two weeks have been a tough time for this club and our supporters. We hope we can now look forward and start to climb the league quickly.”

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens added: “He has a modern and forward-thinking approach and we believe he will be able to get the best out of the group of players.

"His style and way of working will be suited to the players we have in our dressing room, and to how we want to go forward as a club.

“In our discussions with him over the course of the interview process he showed that he already has a clear understanding of our players, the team and the division, and of the issues that we face.

"From that he had a very clear idea of what is required to help us to improve and move forward.”

Millen takes charge with United third bottom of the EFL after 14 games.

His first game in charge will be at Northampton this Saturday, while his first game at Brunton Park will be the FA Cup first round tie against Horsham on Saturday, November 6.