Everton to hire stop-gap manager

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The Independent Online
The Everton chairman, Peter Johnson, is expected to appoint a caretaker manager for the rest of the season, following Joe Royle's departure last week. Johnson made it clear, however, that the position would be filled today only as a stop-gap, before a major name takes charge at Goodison Park at the end of the season.

The news follows speculation that the Wimbledon manager, Joe Kinnear, is the club's preferred candidate. Kinnear has already dismissed any move from Selhurst Park until the close season.

Johnson said: "We are making a decision overnight about the caretaker manager, who will take us through the last seven games of the season."

Bournemouth are expected to announce before tonight's game against Stockport that their long High Court fight for survival with debts of pounds 4.7m has been successful.

The Second Division club's trust fund chairman, Trevor Watkins, said: "We hope to declare plans to become Europe's first community-owned club."

The trust fund, headed by Watkins and other prominent supporters to stave off liquidation, has been in negotiations throughout the Easter weekend with the club's creditors, including the Inland Revenue which is owed pounds 250,000.

Scotland's main injury worry for tomorrow's World Cup qualifier with Austria is Darren Jackson. The Hibernian striker damaged his left shoulder during Saturday's 2-0 World Cup victory over Estonia at Kilmarnock.

Fabrizio Ravanelli will rejoin Middlesbrough on Thursday in preparation for Sunday's Coca-Cola Cup final against Leicester. Ravanelli is confident he will be fit for Wembley, after extensive treatment on a hamstring injury in Italy.

The Leeds midfielder Lee Bowyer will captain the England Under-21 side in today's friendly against Switzerland at Swindon's County Ground.

Bowyer, who trained with the full England squad in the build-up to Saturday's 2-0 win over Mexico, becomes the fourth player to lead the side this season. He replaces Riccardo Scimeca following the Aston Villa defender's withdrawal with a thigh injury.

ENGLAND U-21 v SWITZERLAND U-21 (Swindon FC): Day (Crystal Palace); Broome (Blackburn), Ferdinand (West Ham), Hall (Coventry), Carragher (Liverpool), Bowyer (Leeds, capt), Holland (Birmingham), Carbon (Derby), Hughes (Arsenal), Huckerby (Coventry), Humphreys (Sheffield Wednesday). Substitutes: Briscoe (Sheffield Wednesday), Roberts (Middlesbrough), Morris (Chelsea), Bridges (Sunderland), Moore (Nottingham Forest).

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