Football: Hateley sacked by Ross County for being a jinx

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The Independent Online
MARK HATELEY'S attempt to relaunch his playing career with Scottish Second Division side Ross County has collapsed in acrimony after the Dingwall club decided to release him after less than a fortnight.

The 37-year-old former England international played just two games for Ross and, following defeats in both, manager Neale Cooper has decided Hateley's arrival was responsible for the slump in form.

"Mark's presence was having a negative effect on us and a positive one on the opposition," said Cooper. I don't know what it was but I had a gut feeling the move wasn't working.

"I decided to nip it in the bud and concentrate on getting the best out of the players we already have. It was hard to tell a friend he was no longer needed but that's management."

Hateley, the former Hull manager, has reacted angrily to the rejection and told the Scottish Sun: "I think Neale has basically just bottled it and I'm going to put it down to experience.

"It's unbelievable. I told him it was just a coincidence the team had gone into a lull, but he wouldn't have it. The whole thing has just been a waste of time for me."

Derby today finally completed the pounds 2.3m signing of Argentinian striker Esteban Fuertes to end a transfer saga that began in July.

Fuertes agreed personal terms with Derby during the club's summer trip to the United States and was set to start the new season in the Premiership. But an argument involving three different clubs and agents in Argentina who all claimed ownership of the player put the deal on hold.

The striker was eventually granted temporary clearance last month to play for the Rams until 19 September, giving all parties time to thrash out the deal.

Derby chief executive Keith Loring said: "It has been a bumpy ride but the signals I have been getting from my contacts in Argentina over the last few days gave me a lot of comfort that everything was going to be okay.

"I am delighted for Esteban and for Derby County and its supporters."

Coventry striker John Aloisi has spelt out his frustration at seeing injury blow his chances of establishing a regular first-team spot at Highfield Road.

Aloisi has had limited opportunities in the starting line-up since his arrival from Portsmouth for a bargain pounds 650,000, shortly before last Christmas, as a replacement for Dion Dublin.

The departure of Darren Huckerby to Leeds United for pounds 4m last month and an injury to Noel Whelan finally gave him the chance to partner recent pounds 6m signing Robbie Keane.

Aloisi responded with two goals in three games, against Manchester United and then Leeds on Saturday, but has now been laid low by a calf problem.

Aloisi, who scored 17 goals last season for Pompey before switching to Highfield Road, said: "I was so keen to go on a run of games and to keep on scoring. I was combining well with Robbie Keane and it's disappointing that can't continue for now. I don't know how long I will be out."

Scottish Second Division strugglers Hamilton have appointed Ally Dawson as their new manager. The former Rangers defender has been the caretaker since the surprise resignation of Colin Miller.