Football: Wolves show their hunger for Taylor: Hayward closes on target - Guy Hodgson on new moves at Molineux

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM TAYLOR, who four months ago resigned as the national manager, is likely to make a comeback in English football with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The First Division club made contact with Taylor on his working holiday in Spain yesterday after their first choice, Gerry Francis, ruled himself out of the running by signing a new contract at Queen's Park Rangers.

Taylor was trying to book a flight yesterday to meet the Wolves chairman, Jonathan Hayward, and possibly watch the club's match today at Charlton. The acting player-manager, Peter Shirtliff, said: 'It looks like it could be my last game as manager.'

Meanwhile Watford, a decade after Taylor took them to runners-up place in the championship and the FA Cup final, seek a new chairman. Jack Petchey, 68, resigned yesterday in response to a pitch demonstration after the 3-0 defeat by Grimsby which left the club second bottom of the First Division. They meet Millwall at Vicarage Road. Petchey will continue to back Watford financially.

In the Premiership the aim of avoiding relegation will also be a recurrent theme for two wingers bought as the transfer deadline was looming. Peter Beagrie and Anders Limpar play for Manchester City and Everton respectively today with their attention on survival.

Beagrie, 28, makes his City debut at Oldham in a match that, if they lose, will make a mockery of Francis Lee's assertion 'there's no way we will go down' when he took over as chairman. A defeat and City will be two points behind their near neighbours, having played two matches more.

'It never entered my head for a second when I signed that City might not be in the Premiership next season,' Beagrie said. 'I'm as ambitious as the next player and I'm convinced that, given time, City will be back up there competing with the very best.'

Limpar made much the same noises when he arrived at Goodison after a pounds 1.6m transfer from Arsenal, but the prospects of his avoiding the relegation mire will not brighten if Everton fail to defeat Tottenham at home.

The Merseysiders were the last side to lose a League game at Tottenham - in October - but since then it has been a season without distinction for Ossie Ardiles. There is still no Teddy Sheringham after he pulled out of a reserve match in midweek, but Erik Thorstvedt, Micky Hazard and David Howells, may return from long-term injuries. 'Maybe the luck is turning for us at last,' Ardiles said.

Asia and Concacaf will both be guaranteed an extra, third place at the 2002 World Cup finals, the Fifa president, Joao Havelange, said yesterday. The new places will be at the expense of Europe, who currently have 13.

Rick Wright, the Cardiff City chairman, told yesterday's extraordinary meeting of shareholders at Ninian Park that rumours he might put the Second Division club into liquidation were little more than bait to attract a buyer, a ploy that failed.

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