Football: Warnock and Bonds lose jobs

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The Independent Online
IT WAS a bad day for Second Division managers yesterday with, as well as Ray Wilkins at Fulham, both Neil Warnock and Billy Bonds losing their jobs.

The itinerant Warnock left Oldham Athletic by mutual consent. Having arrived at Boundary Park too late last season to save them from relegation from the First Division, he endured another struggle this term following the imposition of cost-cutting measures.

Warnock is now looking for a club "with more potential," adding: "I'm looking for a fresh challenge and hopefully I can get someone promoted." He has been linked with Bradford City and one of his many former clubs, Plymouth Argyle, but Stoke City is perhaps a more likely destination. Oldham's player-coach, Andy Ritchie, is tipped to replace Warnock.

Bonds was dismissed by Millwall, whose chairman, Theo Paphitis, explained the decision by saying that Bonds' playing and managerial experience at a higher level - with West Ham - is not appropriate for a club of Millwall's modest standing. The Lions ended the campaign just three places above the relegation zone.

Norwich City, who parted company with Mike Walker for the second time this week, are expected to offer their managerial vacancy to Nigel Spackman, formerly in charge at Sheffield United.

The former Norwich defender, Kevin Bond, has left his job as manager of Stafford Rangers to join Portsmouth as assistant to Alan Ball. Kevin Drinkell, another ex-Norwich player, has been dismissed as manager of Stirling Albion.

Walter Smith, who steps down as manager of Rangers next week, has unexpectedly agreed to work under his successor, Dick Advocaat, as reserve and youth team coach at Ibrox. Chris Nicholl, the former Southampton and Northern Ireland defender, has taken charge of Northern Ireland's reformed Under- 21 side.

Manchester United have given a free transfer to their long-serving forward, Brian McClair, after 11 years at Old Trafford. "I want to keep playing. I feel I've got two good years left in me yet," the 34-year-old said. "Basically I am open to offers."

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