Cole call-up as Shearer drops out

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Andy Cole at last has the chance to prove to Terry Venables that he deserves a place in the ngland attack. Manchester United's £7m striker was called last night into the ngland squad for next week's friendly against Uruguay, to replace Alan Shearer.

The Blackburn centre-forward has failed to recover from a knee injury, allowing Cole to step up for his first full ngland call-up since he sat out the 7-1 win over San Marino in Graham Taylor's last game as manager.

Cole is likely to form a striking partnership with Teddy Sheringham, who seems certain to start for only the second time under his old manager at Spurs.

There are others on the sick list: Liverpool right-back Rob Jones has a stomach bug and Spurs' Darren Anderton has tonsillitis, though both hope to join the squad at the weekend.

Chelsea were charged yesterday by the Football Association over the crowd trouble that followed their FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Millwall on 8 February.

The club have already told the the FA that they did everything possible to prevent disorder at a potentially explosive match. The FA has agreed not to deal with the case until Chelsea's uropean Cup-Winners' Cup run is over.

A groin injury yesterday forced verton's £4m man, Duncan Ferguson, out of Scotland's uropean Championship qualifier against Russia next week, letting in Aberdeen's Duncan Shearer.

"It's a disappointment to lose Duncan Ferguson after the form he has been in for verton," the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, said. "But Duncan Shearer is a big, strong guy and I'm sure he won't let us down."

Brown said he expects Hearts' Craig Levein and Stuart McCall of Rangers, both of whom are carrying injuries, to report to the squad tomorrow.

Mike Smith has called the Arsenal striker, John Hartson, and Michael Meaker, the Queen's Park Rangers winger, into his Wales squad for Wednesday's uropean Championship qualifier in Bulgaria. Hartson was originally selected for the Under-21 pool and was on senior standby. Injuries to Ian Rush (hamstring) and Iwan Roberts (toe) have forced Smith's hand.

Motherwell brought a new Dutch recruit to Fir Park yesterday when Alex McLeish closed a £400,000 three-year deal with PSV indhoven for the 23- year-old central defender, Mitchell van der Gaag.

Malcolm Allison is distancing himself from involvement in the bid to buy Third Division Gillingham, but the former Manchester City manager says he would still like to help.

"I played for them in 1946/47 when I was in the army based in Maidstone," said Allison, 67, who was born in Dartford. "The situation is one that I am used to and I think I can help them."

However, Allison was not at the press conference yesterday which revealed him as the "big name" to front the takeover, and the supporters' club secretary, Peter Lloyd, said he was "sceptical" about the plans.

John Toshack, sacked as coach of Real Sociedad earlier this season, will manage last season's Spanish league runners-up, Deportivo La Corua, next year. The former Welsh international, who has coached Real Sociedad and Real Madrid during his 10 years in Spain, will replace Arsenio Iglesias, who is not renewing his contract.

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