Football: Deal secures Southgate's future at Villa

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The Independent Online
GARETH SOUTHGATE, the 28-year-old England defender, who scored his first international goal in the 3-0 midweek win in Luxembourg, has signed a new five-year contract with the Premiership leaders Aston Villa.

Signed from Crystal Palace for pounds 2.5m in 1995, Southgate has gone on to become a key player for both club and country and been in fine form as John Gregory's side set the pace in the top flight this season.

The League Managers' Association has urged Glenn Hoddle to "ride out" the current storm over his reign as England coach. The LMA chief executive, John Barnwell, insists that the fans must support Hoddle if England are to reach the European Championship finals in 2000.

"We have to be behind him because he is the manager and that is how it stands," Barnwell said. "Glenn needs all the support he can get to help us get through to the European Championship finals."

Newcastle's French international striker, Stephane Guivarc'h, has claimed he has been humiliated by the club's new manager, Ruud Gullit - and wants to leave St James' Park as soon as possible.

The 28-year-old, who has played just twice for Newcastle since his pounds 3.5m move from Auxerre in the summer, accused the Dutchman of a lack of respect while his agent said Gullit had "put a curse" on the World-Cup-winning striker.

Guivarc'h said that he had been astonished when Gullit, who replaced Kenny Dalglish as manager, had ordered him to train with the reserves.

"If he told me to do it again I would refuse. To get me to train with the second team is not very classy behaviour on his part," Guivarc'h said. "This lack of respect still surprises me but I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

"All I know is that I have to leave because my two successive seasons as leading scorer in France, leading scorer in the European Cup in 1997- 98 and my World Cup medal will change nothing in his eyes," he added.

The postponed European Championship qualifier between Yugoslavia and the Republic of Ireland will now take place on 18 November, but there is still no decision from Uefa, football's European governing body, about the venue.

The game was originally scheduled for Belgrade last Saturday, but was postponed because of Nato threats to bomb military installations in the Serb capital.

The Football Association of Ireland chief executive Bernard O'Byrne was informed by Uefa yesterday that no decision on the venue will be made until after next week's games involving Yugoslav clubs in the various European competitions. Should political unrest in Yugoslavia continue, the match will probably be switched to a neutral venue - perhaps in Switzerland.

Hearts have lost their second appeal against the non-regulation dimensions of the Real Mallorca goalposts when Uefa dismissed their case in Geneva. Uefa again rejected Hearts' pleas to be reinstated into the Cup-Winners' Cup because of the club's failure to submit their protest in writing ahead of kick-off.

Ipswich and Dundee United have agreed a pounds 700,000 fee for the 29-year- old striker Alex Mathie, who is in Scotland discussing personal terms.

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