Football: Local hero McMenemy keen on senior role for Saints

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The Independent Online
Southampton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Coventry City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

AFTER a restorative victory in the first match since Ian Branfoot's exit, Lawrie McMenemy outlined the way forward, in terms of finding a new manager and rediscovering Southampton's old elan. McMenemy, synonymous with past prosperity, may even consider himself the answer, with a younger man in tow, although not Peter Reid, who this weekend followed Branfoot out of the door.

McMenemy's knowledge of the game and local expectations make him ideally suited to play the senior partner in a two-tier set-up. But the problem with this approach is that it would not find favour with single-minded candidates such as Alan Ball and Peter Shilton, whose merits were discussed by McMenemy and the board yesterday.

While the board considers the likes of Ball and Shilton, two other fans' favourites - Harry Redknapp of West Ham and Ivan Golac, Dundee United's manager - appear out of the running.

Ball, for all his modest achievements as manager, is the favourite but McMenemy stressed that other chairmen as well as his have been contacted.

Southampton, against an unambitious Coventry, displayed a refreshing, intelligently channelled commitment, but showed scant precision in the box.

The first genuine attempt on goal came after 26 minutes when Neil Maddison shot straight at Steve Ogrizovic. Maddison made a more telling contribution just before half- time when his pass forced Paul Williams to bring down Dowie, Le Tissier doing the honours from the spot.

Saints nearly needed the wider margin as City had a good shout for a 62nd-minute penalty rejected when Paul Williams fell under Paul Allen's challenge.

Goal: Le Tissier pen (44) 1-0.

Southampton (4-4-2): Beasant; Kenna, Wood, Monkou, Charlton; Dodd, Allen, Widdrington, Le Tissier; Dowie, Maddison. Substitutes not used: Banger, Bennett, Andrews (gk).

Coventry City (4-4-2): Ogrizovic; Borrows, Atherton, Babb, P Williams; Flynn, Rennie, Darby, Ndlovu; J Williams (Jenkinson, 73), Quinn. Substitutes not used: Robertson, Gould (gk).

Referee: P Don (Middlesex).