Football: Wolves put Lee's name on the door

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The Independent Online
COLIN LEE, the man Wolverhampton Wanderers appointed as caretaker manager in the wake of Mark McGhee's departure a little over a month ago, has been given the job until the end of the season. His four games in charge have seen Wolves win three and draw the fourth, a run which lifted the Molineux side to fifth before yesterday's matches.

"Obviously I'm delighted," Lee said, "but it's my aim now to keep the job for a lot longer. I can only do that if I set about it correctly, give it my full input alongside all the other members of staff and, hopefully, together we can gain promotion to the Premier League."

John Richards, the Wolves managing director, added: "Colin has put in a lot of hard work over the last couple of weeks and has never allowed himself to be deflected from the job by the speculation." The team's response to Lee, Richards said, left the board in no doubt that he should be given the chance to see whether he could succeed where Graham Taylor, Graham Turner and McGhee had all failed.

"I hope people are pleased with the decision," Richards said. "It was something we had considered all week. The results have gone well for Colin and I've been impressed with the way he's gone about his work. The players have gone through a difficult time with the run of results. We weren't having the luck, then, with the upheaval with Mark, I think they've been superb.

"Everyone is getting behind Colin Lee and Mick Hickman, and all the players, to give it a good push for promotion for the rest of the season." His first task is to stem the 22-goal West Bromwich Albion striker, Lee Hughes, and take three points from this afternoon's game at the Hawthorns.

In the Premier, Leeds United go to Old Trafford, where they have not beaten Manchester United for 17 years, without the centre-backs Lucas Radebe (knee) and Robert Molenaar (suspended) and with midfielder Lee Bowyer also banned. Alfie Haaland and David Wetherall are likely to play in the middle of defence.

In London, champions Arsenal leave their disappointing European residence at Wembley and return to Highbury where they face a Middlesbrough side also waiting on recuperating centre-backs. Gary Pallister says he is fit after a knee injury but his manager, Bryan Robson, isn't so sure. Gianluca Festa (shoulder) is definitely out but two of Boro's suspended midfielders, Robbie Mustoe and Paul Gascoigne, have completed their bans.

The Gunners could again be without Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit.