Football: Wise vows to win back the captaincy

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The Independent Online
DENNIS WISE vowed yesterday to win back the captaincy as Chelsea prepared for their second assault on Europe.

Wise, who led Chelsea through their first-round European Cup- Winners' Cup tie 4-2 on aggregate against the Czechs of Viktoria Zizkov last month, had the captaincy taken away from him this week by Glenn Hoddle, the Chelsea manager.

Hoddle punished Wise after the England player was questioned by police last week after an alleged incident in a taxi outside the West End nightclub of the national coach, Terry Venables.

But Wise rejected suggestions yesterday that he was unhappy at Stamford Bridge as he prepared to sign a new six-year deal with the club, adding: 'Of course I want the captaincy back. But whether I get it back is another matter. Obviously I will have to earn the right to it again.'

Gavin Peacock will lead Chelsea against FK Austria Vienna in the first leg of the second-round tie tonight, after what Hoddle described as one of the toughest decisions of his managerial career.

Hoddle - who faces serious injury problems before tonight's match against the Austrians, who are top of their league - said: 'It was a decision I didn't take any pleasure in making . . . I just felt that it is a lesson, and possibly an opportunity for Dennis to learn what captaincy is all about.'

Hoddle has Steve Clarke, John Spencer and Scott Minto definitely out of the match with injuries. Wise is expected to recover from a knock, but there are also doubts about Frank Sinclair and the goalkeeper, Dmitri Kharin.

Once again, the youth coach, Graham Rix, 37 on Sunday, is in the squad.