Plymouth rely on Mariner to get them into calmer waters

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The Independent Football

Plymouth Argyle have revealed that the former England striker Paul Mariner is to return to the club as head coach. Mariner, who started his playing career at Home Park in 1973, will be installed on Friday and will work under manager Paul Sturrock.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Blackpool left Plymouth second bottom of the Championship but their chairman, Sir Roy Gardner, said: "Paul Mariner is not only an Argyle legend but has established himself as a leading coach in American Major League Soccer and internationally, including in Japan."

The FA will today examine allegations that Cardiff striker Michael Chopra suffered racist abuse following Saturday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Jay Bothroyd claimed his fellow striker Chopra was the subject of a slur from a Palace player after the match. Players had to be separated following the final whistle and trouble reportedly continued in the tunnel.

While West Bromwich Albion went top with a 3-1 win over Reading, Middlesbrough's third home defeat in a row, a 1-0 reverse to Watford, saw them slip to third, increasing the pressure on manager Gareth Southgate. He said: "How we perform at home between now and the end of the season will determine where we finish."