National League strugglers FC Halifax Town have appointed former Chester City boss Jim Harvey as their new manager.

The Northern Irishman has been handed the reins until the end of the season having oversaw a five-game unbeaten run as caretaker after Darren Kelly's sacking.

He told the Halifax Courier: "I’m absolutely delighted, thrilled, to be given the job.

"I’m now looking forward to the challenge of avoiding relegation.

"Over the last five games the players have shown they can be resilient and have turned the results around.

"I’ve had a terrific response from the players since I’ve taken over, we’re unbeaten in five games, and we need to maintain that now."

Harvey managed the Blues from October 2009 until January 2009 when he resigned soon after Morrell Maison was brought in as director of football.

The 57-year-old had to contend with serious financial problems, off-field dramas and a 25 point deduction.

Harvey, whose playing career included spells with Arsenal, Hereford United and Tranmere Rovers, has managed Morecambe, Forest Green Rovers and Stalybridge Celtic.

He returned to Chester in 2013 when he began working with the board to explore a potential scholarship scheme but this led to speculation he was being lined up to replace then manager Neil Young although Harvey dismissed that.

Plans for a partnership with Mid Cheshire College did not materialise and Harvey moved back into coaching with Oldham Athletic in June when Kelly added him to his coaching team.

Oldham sacked Kelly in September but was appointed Halifax boss a couple of weeks later and again brought in Harvey to work alongside him.

Kelly was dismissed in November following a 6-3 defeat at home to Braintree Town.

Halifax are third from bottom and six points adrift off safety. and Harvey's first game in charge will be at Lincoln City on Boxing Day.