Bradford manager's job proves too much for McCall

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The Independent Online

Stuart McCall appears to have ruled himself out of the running for the vacant manager's position at Bradford City following the sacking of Chris Hutchings earlier this week.

Stuart McCall appears to have ruled himself out of the running for the vacant manager's position at Bradford City following the sacking of Chris Hutchings earlier this week.

The former Scotland midfielder, currently filling in as caretaker manager at Valley Parade, says he would rather concentrate on extending his playing career for as long as possible.

Hutchings was sacked on Monday following the defeat to Charlton Athletic which left the Bantams second from bottom of the Premiership.

McCall was expected to be a serious contender for the vacancy but ruled himself out after meeting his chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, yesterday morning. He reiterated, however, that he was happy to carry on as caretaker until a new manager is in place.

"While I feel I am having a positive influence on the park, I believe this is the best way I can assist Bradford," McCall said. "I do not believe I can do the manager's position justice while I am still playing at Premiership level. As manager there is much more pressure and responsibility which I believe would affect my contribution at this time on the field.

"The time will come when I hang up my boots and my ambition in the future is to become a manager should the opportunity arise."

A relieved McCall spoke more openly about his decision last night: "It's just not for me at this moment. I can't play and manage, it's impossible," he said. "I was doing too much and could hardly sleep. Now I feel better already.

"I thought it would be a challenge, but it was going to be too much. The burden is now off. I've told the chairman and he was great about it. To be honest I could not do the job to the best of my ability and he appreciated that."

McCall has appointed Neville Southall as his No 2 while he is in temporary charge. He has sought advice from his former manager at Rangers, Walter Smith, and had wanted to approach Roy Evans for help with coaching, but the former Liverpool manager is on holiday and unavailable.

Bradford want McCall to carry on as assistant manager and Richmond will now try to step up his overtures to Tottenham's director of football, David Pleat.

"I am happy to help out against Everton if they don't find anyone," McCall said. "I could even do the job against Derby when I am suspended. But hopefully the club will find the right person soon. We need to get results to stay up, that is the most important thing."

McCall is not ruling out becoming Bradford's manager in the future. "Management has always been my ambition, but I want to do it when the time is right and I can do it justice," he said.

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