Coppell's comeback

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Steve Coppell yesterday announced his intention to return to management, almost two years after leaving Crystal Palace.

Coppell will step down as the chief executive of the League Managers' Association at the end of next month. "Once the bug has bitten you, you stay bitten," said Coppell, whose LMA post will go to the former Portsmouth manager, Jim Smith, who was sacked last week.

Coppell added: "In the last few weeks I've been watching games and found myself wondering what I would do if the teams were mine."

Leyton Orient's longest-serving player has been released by the club after an "unacceptable" display in Tuesday night's Second Division home defeat by Blackpool.

The defender Terry Howard was told during half-time in his 397th appearance for the club that he was being substituted, given a free transfer and two weeks' wages. "Terry has been a very good servant and we are sure he will get another club," the joint manager, John Sitton, said.

Howard has been on a weekly contract at the cash-strapped Brisbane Road club. "He was one of a number of players whose performance against Blackpool lacked urgency and passion and could not be tolerated. But the decision was taken for several reasons, including economics," Sitton added.