City wait for right man

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The Independent Online
Manchester City will not be rushed into naming a new manager, but will wait until they are sure they have the right man.

There is still anger in the City boardroom that George Graham, having reportedly expressed interest in the job, decided not to go to Maine Road to end his 18-month exile since the transfer "bungs" affair.

"We were shocked by George Graham's decision because the package offered was very attractive," Colin Barrow, the First Division club's chief executive, said. "But that's history now and we've got to look elsewhere. It is important that we find a manager as soon as possible, but we won't be rushed. It is very important that we get the right man, it's crucial."

Ron Atkinson will not say if he will discipline Gordon Strachan, his assistant manager at Coventry, over the Scot's refusal to leave the pitch after being sent off, which caused the temporary abandonment of a reserve- team match on Thursday.

Atkinson will talk to Strachan, who was shown the red card for two bookable offences in the Pontins League match with West Bromwich at The Hawthorns. Last Saturday, Strachan was among those who went on to the pitch to protest at Chelsea's winning goal from Frank Leboeuf and play was held up for several minutes.

Atkinson said of the latest incident: "We will have to look at the whole thing and discuss the situation - but, whatever is said, will be said in private - and will remain so."

Patrik Berger, who moved to Anfield from Borussia Dortmund for pounds 3.2m, will test his calf injury in a Liverpool reserve match today. He will not lack high quality support as Jamie Redknapp, John Scales and Neil Ruddock are also in the side.

Bristol Rovers have been given clearance to play their first home game at the local rugby union club's Memorial Ground this weekend. The stadium has passed its safety inspection, enabling the match with Stockport County to go ahead there.

n The French television channel, Canal Plus, is launching on Tuesday a pay-per-view package that will enable viewers to watch any, or all, of the 10 weekly matches of the French league. In Italy, Telepiu'calcio, the channel run by the Milan president and former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, will start a similar service from next weekend.

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