Football: Spurs fine Durie over outburst: Maximum penalty for striker

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GORDON DURIE accepted his punishment from Tottenham Hotspur yesterday in slightly more temperate fashion than he greeted his substitution in the Coca-Cola Cup tie against Burnely the previous night. A four- letter volley directed towards the manager, Ossie Ardiles, has earned him a two-week fine and a warning as to his future conduct.

Durie apologised to Ardiles at a lunchtime meeting and vowed to put the experience behind him. He even went so far as to say he would be happy to stay at White Hart Lane although, with his record of upset and absenteeism, you would not swear by it.

'I was wrong and I regret it,' Durie said. 'It was totally out of character and I just hope this is the end of the matter because I have been quite happy with the way things had been going at Spurs for me this season.

'I want to play but Ossie couldn't tell me whether I would be in the side for the next match at Manchester United or even if I would be in the squad. If I'm wanted by Spurs that's fine by me. I'm certainly not considering asking for a transfer.'

Ardiles was horrified at the manner of Durie's response and has hit the Scottish international with the maximum fine possible, around pounds 8,000, and made it clear he will not stand for a repetition.

Describing his outburst as 'completely irresponsible' Ardiles said he felt let down and Durie had put his future at the club 'in doubt'.

In no doubt whatsoever is the future of Ryan Giggs, who has signed a new contract tying him to Manchester United for the next five years. To keep things nicely balanced at Old Trafford his partner on the other wing, England's Lee Sharpe, has also committed himself to the same length of stay.

Giggs went on the Milan admired list last season even before he had made his first full appearance for Wales. His performances since and in the European Cup this season will have alerted the remainder of the Continent's big spenders to his talents.

The 19-year-old was on relatively modest wages of pounds 100,000 but will have at least doubled his money with the new terms. Sharpe, 22, was left out of the United team at the start of the season but his goalscoring performances following a recall have also returned him to the England team.

Kevin Keegan put his signature to a one-year extension on his Newcastle contract which both he and his employers trust will end talk that he is the likely successor to Graham Taylor should England fail to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Newcastle's impressive return to the big league has lifted Keegan above Glenn Hoddle, Gerry Francis and Ron Atkinson as the people's choice. He only signed a three-year term in May last year but felt the time was right to make a further commitment. 'We have started something here and St James' Park is the only place I want to be for the next four years,' he said.

He admits the thought of managing England does appeal. 'It's in the back of the mind of every Englishman, particularly one who has played 63 times for his country but now is not the time.'

Taylor has more than enough problems preparing his England team for next week's vital game against the Netherlands to take any solace from yesterday's development. The squad assembles this morning and it looks certain to be a quick 'hello and goodbye' for Les Ferdinand, who is struggling to overcome a hamstring injury.

'Obviously I'm extremely disappointed,' said the QPR striker, whose fear is that if he is forced to train he could break down and put himself out for six weeks. 'I've got my fingers crossed but it does not look good.'

Ian Wright is rated only 50-50 by the Arsenal manager, George Graham, as he continues intensive treatment on a knee injury. 'I'd play on one leg if it was left to me, but it is such a big game I would not like to let myself or the country down by saying I was going to be fit when I'm not. At least I've got a few days left.'