Football: Toshack set to resign as manager of Wales after 47 days: Real Sociedad coach deeply hurt by taunts in Cardiff - England centre-back breaks Cup-Winners' Cup deadlock at Highbury

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The Independent Online
JOHN TOSHACK is expected to resign later today as the manager of Wales after only 47 days, and one match, in the job. A press conference has been called for midday in San Sebastian which it is believed will bring to an end his reign from Spain.

If confirmed, it will be a humiliating blow to the Football Association of Wales, whose actions have been shrouded in controversy since the national side failed to qualify for the World Cup finals and it was decided not to offer Terry Yorath a new contract as manager.

A week ago, during his first game in charge, against Norway, Toshack bore the brunt of supporters' dissatisfaction over the way Yorath was treated by the Welsh FA. His team, playing to a Continental pattern, lost 3-1 and were booed off at half-time and at the end.

Despite what he said immediately after that friendly, Toshack was deeply wounded by the attacks and by calls from a section of the Ninian Park crowd for Yorath's return.

In recent days he has talked over the position with Alun Evans, the FAW chief executive, with Mike Smith, the Wales assistant manager, and with his staff at Real Sociedad.

'He is not very happy with the situation,' Smith said. 'He intimated to me that he does not really want to continue. We have been trying to get him to change his mind.'

Yesterday his assistant coach in Spain, Roberto Lopez Ufarte, said: 'We were talking at the training ground for a long time on Monday and he is obviously very affected by what happened in Cardiff. He feels perhaps it's a complication he does not really need if people are going to react in this way.'

Evans said: 'I have not spoken to John today and won't do so until tomorrow and that will be on Welsh FA business. I won't be raising the question of his resignation unless he does.'

If Toshack does go today, it would be an uncharacteristic move for a man who exudes self-belief and who has always faced up to a challenge in the past.

Wales opted to go for Toshack when approaches to Terry Venables and Bobby Robson were rejected. The decision provoked controversy because Toshack's full-time post as coach of Real Sociedad would severely limit his time with the Welsh team. Last week he did not arrive in Cardiff until the Monday night before the game and was with his new players for only one training session.

Ironically, upon his return to Spain he was criticised by the local media over the time he was be spending away on Welsh business.

From day one he has maintained that with a comfortable job in Spain, and a lifestyle to match, he did not need to continue in the Welsh job if problems arose.

It would not be easy for Evans and his committee to begin looking for a successor so soon. One possibility might be to give the job full-time to Smith and even though Yorath would be the fans' choice it is unlikely that Evans would go back to the old regime having pursued so many alternatives.

Manchester United accepted yesterday that they will play the FA Cup semi-final with Oldham at Wembley, after Oldham refused to support their request to have the tie switched to Maine Road. However, their goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel will not be there for the Coca-Cola Cup final against Aston Villa on 27 March - he will be banned after his sending- off against Charlton on Saturday.

The Birmingham City manager, Barry Fry, has put his entire squad of 37 up for sale in an effort to reduce his wage bill.

John McGinlay, the Bolton striker, has an opportunity to establish himself in Scotland's European Championship plans after being named in the squad for the Hampden Park friendly against the Netherlands a week tonight.

SCOTLAND SQUAD (friendly v the Netherlands, Hampden Park, 23 March): Goram (Rangers), Gunn (Norwich), Leighton (Hibernian), McKimmie (Aberdeen), McLaren (Hearts), Robertson (Rangers), Boyd (Celtic), Hendry (Blackburn), Levein (Hearts), Irvine (Aberdeen), McStay (Celtic), McCall (Rangers), McAllister (Leeds), I Ferguson (Rangers), Collins (Celtic), O'Donnell (Motherwell), McKinlay (Dundee Utd), McCoist, Durie (both Rangers), McGinlay (Bolton), Jess, Booth (both Aberdeen), Nevin (Tranmere).

(Photograph omitted)

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