Charlton expresses faith in Venables

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Terry Venables may feel he has lost the support of some of the Association's shadowy committee men, but he still has the backing of England's most respected former international.

Bobby Charlton yesterday echoed the sentiments of many current players and managers when he appealed to the FA to persuade Venables to stay on as England coach until the 1998 World Cup. Charlton said: "Someone in the FA should tell Terry to forget all the carping and criticism and carry on with it because he is the best person for the job. The FA is a huge organisation, with nearly 90 council members. You are never going to please all of them.

"I would like to see Terry Venables' position consolidated for the next few years. I have been enjoying our club football, there have been some superb passing games. Much of that is down to the example set by Terry. I hope he can be persuaded to stay. I think he would change his mind if he thought he was wanted.

"I do not think we can win the European Championship because of all the uncertainty. But I do think we could win the next World Cup under Terry Venables. The players are looking a lot better under him."

Charlton said he was "disappointed" by the number of managers who have said they would not be interested in succeeding Venables. "No one should be afraid of the England job.

"I get a little distressed when managers refuse a position because they want to stay where they are. Looking out for their own security should not come into it. When England want you, you should drop everything."

Charlton was speaking at the launch of a new award by Mastercard, which will honour nine individuals who are judged to have made a significant contribution to the development of youth football in England.