FOOTBALL: Notts County claim Kendall

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The Independent Online
Howard Kendall, the former Everton manager, has returned to English football, taking over as the manager of Notts County. He replaces Russell Slade, who becomes his assistant.

County are currently bottom of the first division, with only four wins from 25 games. Kendall will be their third manager this season, following the dismissal of Mick Walker in September.

Kendall's first game in charge will be Saturday's home match against Burnley. "I'm glad to be back," he said. "I've had a lot of good times in the game, and desperately want some more. I still think I've got a lot to offer, and I'm excited about the challenge that awaits me at Notts County. My aim is to keep them in the First Division."

In Kendall's first spell in charge at Everton, the club won the League championship twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup-Winners' Cup. He then took charge at Athletic Bilbao, before returning to manage Manchester City, and then Everton again. His seco n d spell at Goodison Park was not a success, and he resigned in December 1993 after four years in office. He then went to Greece to manage Xanthi, but spent less than 12 months there before returning to England at the end of last year.

Colchester yesterday named Steve Wignall as their new manager in succession to George Burley. Wignall, previously with Aldershot in the Diadora League, is no stranger to the Third Division club, having played more than 450 league games for them between 1977 and 1986.

A former Colchester manager, Ian Atkins, was named by Northampton Town as their new manager. Atkins has also been in charge at Cambridge United and Doncaster. Plymouth Argyle have confirmed Steve McCall as their player-manager, replacing Peter Shilton. Allan Evans was finally confirmed as Aston Villa's assistant manager, six weeks after walking out on Leicester City, along with Brian Little.

Leicester have offered Norwich £1m for their striker, Mark Robins, and were hoping to push through a deal in time for him to play in tomorrow's game at Crystal Palace. Robins has struggled to recapture his form after suffering a serious knee injury during last season's Uefa Cup victory against Bayern Munich. Another Leicester target is Hibernian's Northern Ireland midfielder, Michael O'Neill, who may be on his way to Filbert Street on loan.

Kenny Dalglish, the Blackburn Rovers manager, watched Dundee's 2-2 draw at St Johnstone on Wednesday. Neil McCann, the Dundee winger, is a possible target.

Howard Wilkinson's problems in attempting to sign Anthony Yeboah on loan continued, as work permit problems delayed the arrival of the Ghanaian. The Leeds managing director, Bill Fotherby, said: "We have been advised by the Department of Employment that because the issue of a work permit is under consideration, it would be inadvisable for Yeboah to enter the country at the present time. Therefore, his arrival will be postponed until a permit has been approved and issued."

A DoE spokesman confirmed that the department did not issue permits for loan deals. "If a player was coming here for a year and getting paid for it, that would need a work permit. We only grant permits to established international footballers of the highest standard."

Reading equalled their transfer record when they paid Watford £250,000 for the Welsh striker, Lee Nogan. He will make his debut in tomorrow's home match against West Bromwich Albion.