Shreeves' Wednesday exit may alert Francis

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The Independent Football

The recent managerial casualties Trevor Francis and Jim Smith will head the short-list for the vacant Sheffield Wednesday manager's job following the resignation yesterday of Peter Shreeves.

After eight months in charge, Shreeves quit stating that it was "the honourable thing to do". Tuesday night's 2-1 defeat at home to Preston proved the final straw for Shreeves, who said his side had "run out of ideas." The defeat leaves Wednesday one place off the bottom of the First Division with one win from their first 13 League matches.

The 60-year-old Shreeves had been handed the role on a caretaker basis in February this year after the sacking of Paul Jewell and steered the club away from relegation danger.. But with virtually no money to spend in the transfer market, a string of injuries this season and the club £16m in debt, Shreeves came to the conclusion he could do no more.

"The last few weeks have been very tough," said Shreeves, who was also acting manager for a spell at the end of the 1999-2000 season in between Danny Wilson's sacking and Jewell's appointment. "In the best interests of both Wednesday and myself, I felt the honourable thing to do was to offer my resignation. I would like to place on record a hearty vote of thanks to the club's fans, who have been fantastic to me."

Terry Yorath, the Wednesday assistant manager, has taken over as caretaker with immediate effect, and will be in charge of the side for Saturday's home game with Walsall.

Steve Bruce is wavering about moving to Birmingham City and could decide to stay at Crystal Palace after all. Bruce is the first choice of his old club to replace Francis, who left on Monday.

The St Andrew's club believed Bruce was going to join them by using an escape clause in his contract. But the Palace chairman, Simon Jordan, who has seen Bruce guide the club to second place in the First Division this season, is putting up a fight and wants his manager to carry on, possibly on a new contract.

Jordan said last night: "There is a distinct possibility that Birmingham will make an approach, whether it's through the front door or not. If they do, I'd like to think Steve will say he's staying with us. Who the hell are Birmingham? When was the last time they were in the Premiership? Never. What was the last thing they won? So why would he want to take a backward step? Of course he has to look after himself and it's human nature to be a little bit interested. He's a bloody good manager. But I think it's very unlikely he'll go anywhere.''

The Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has accused the club of "fobbing him off" after talks over his proposed new five-year contract ended in deadlock. Hendrie's wage demands – believed to be around £20,000 a week – appear to be the sticking point, even though the Villa manager, John Gregory, said they were "not excessive" after the latest talks ended in stalemate.

The West Ham manager, Glenn Roeder, said yesterday he is not planning to sell the highly-rated Michael Carrick, or buy Arsenal's Ray Parlour.The Blackburn Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, is willing to pay about £2.5m for the West Bromwich Albion left-back Neil Clement.

The Derby manager, Colin Todd, is trying to the sign the Austrian international Markus Schopp at the second attempt. Todd wants to take the right-back from the Italian side Brescia on loan for the rest of the season. Schopp snubbed Derby and Middlesbrough when he joined Brescia in the summer, but he has now fallen out of favour with the Serie A side.

Millwall will escape a Football League fine for the late postponement of their match against Watford at the New Den on Tuesday. Police could not guarantee the safety of players and supporters travelling to the match after gas cylinders at a nearby garage repair workshop exploded. But a spokesman for the Football League said the club were unlikely to incur the normal fine due to circumstances beyond their control.

David Connolly has been cleared of any wrongdoing in his transfer to Wimbledon. The Dutch club AZ Alkmaar were demanding £3m in compensation from Connolly, claiming he went back on a verbal agreement to join them in the summer. But an arbitration committee of the Dutch Football Federation rejected Alkmaar's claims.