Football: Deehan and Megson for double act

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SINCE John Bond's departure 14 years ago, Norwich City have propagated a tradition of promoting from within and this custom is expected to continue today with the appointment of John Deehan as manager, assisted by Gary Megson.

Deehan, a more than capable caretaker following Mike Walker's defection to Everton, will today discuss the vacancy with Robert Chase, the Carrow Road chairman, and the result could see the popular former Canaries forward installed as manager until at least the end of the season. The choice as No 2 of Megson, Norwich's gritty midfielder whose father Don managed Bristol Rovers and Bournemouth, will surprise many but, since arriving in East Anglia from Manchester City, he has prepared himself for tracksuited duties by acquiring all the FA coaching qualifications.

If appointed, Deehan, 36, and Megson, two years his junior, will form the youngest managerial partnership in the Premiership. Deehan promised few changes, insisting on playing the game the Norwich way: 'That is a quick, passing game. Any move away from that style would be a major mistake.'

Deehan's first club, Aston Villa, yesterday fined their Irish defender, Paul McGrath, two weeks wages - believed to be pounds 10,000 - for last week's disappearing act before Saturday's FA Cup tie at Exeter City. 'He should have travelled with the rest of the lads to Exeter,' Ron Atkinson, the Villa manager, said. 'He doesn't have too many house points left and there are certain things he has to conform to. But I wouldn't think he will be booted out of the club.'

Dave Bassett, the Sheffield United manager, said yesterday that he 'might go as far as inviting the FA to consider charging' Alex Ferguson and Mark Hughes over remarks they made about Blades players and the referee, Gerald Ashby, who dismissed the Manchester United striker during their FA Cup tie on Sunday.

The United pair claimed that Ashby had not afforded Hughes any protection. 'I have a good mind to cut up the video of the game and send it to the FA and ask for their observations,' Bassett said. Ferguson retorted: 'If referees are allowing Hughes to be used as some sort of punch bag because he is big and strong then it's quite unfair. If a player isn't protected then he is perhaps going to crack.'

Terry Yorath, whose demands for a new contract as Welsh manager were rejected last month, has written to the FA of Wales expressing a desire to compromise. 'I think there have been some mistakes made in the last few months. But I would like to get together again and rectify them,' Yorath, whose contract expired on 31 December, said. The Welsh FA, which aims to fill the post by February, has approached Bobby Robson, the former England manager, who confirmed yesterday he was 'thinking about it'.

Steve Bull, the Wolves striker introduced to international football by Robson but discarded by Graham Taylor, learned yesterday that the ankle-ligament injury he sustained against Crystal Palace on Saturday may keep him out of action for three weeks.

Barnet, struggling with debts of pounds 1.7m, yesterday won a two-month adjournment against a winding-up order in the High Court.

(Photograph omitted)

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