Football in Brief: Phillips set to reject England; Curbishley 'drops out' of running for Wolves manager


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Scotland yesterday called up the England Under-20 international Matt Phillips for next week's friendly in Slovenia. The Blackpool winger is eligible to play for Scotland through his grandparents and the Scottish Football Association is waiting for Fifa to confirm his availability.

The 20-year-old was born in Aylesbury and has represented England at under-19 and under-20 level but he has opted to play for Scotland, whose manager, Craig Levein, said: "I'm very excited about the young lad. Great things are expected of him."

Levein has also called up the Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew for the first time and recalled the Sunderland goalkeeper, Craig Gordon.

Curbishley 'drops out' of running for Wolves manager

The former Charlton manager Alan Curbishley was yesterday reported to have dropped out of the running to replace Mick McCarthy as manager of Wolves. Steve Bruce, who was sacked by Sunderland in November, has emerged as favourite to take over at Molineux, which was not greeted with enthusiasm by supporters' websites .

Curbishley was interviewed last week, along with Bruce and the former QPR manager Neil Warnock, who has since joined Leeds. Curbishley is believed to have had a difference of opinion regarding the future of Wolves with the club's chairman, Steve Morgan.

Bellamy to play in Speed tribute

Craig Bellamy has been included in Chris Coleman's Wales squad for the Gary Speed Memorial match against Costa Rica. The Liverpool striker was persuaded to prolong his Wales career by Speed, the manager who died in November.

Coleman has expressed his desire for Bellamy to play in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, but the 67-cap forward has said that next week's fixture could be his last.

There is a recall for the Bolton full-back Sam Ricketts after a lengthy spell out through injury and Robert Earnshaw is in the 24-man squad despite his recent lack of playing time at Cardiff.

Grant hits out at Iranian club

The Partizan Belgrade and former Chelsea coach, Avram Grant, said yesterday that the Iranian club Sepahan cancelled a friendly in Turkey because he is an Israeli.

The match was scheduled to be played on Friday in Antalya. Grant, who took over at Partizan last month, said the Iranian club's decision was "shameful". He said: "I never mixed politics with sports. I worked with many [Muslims] in England, and made friends with many of them."

Curle heads for Meadow Lane

Notts County yesterday named Keith Curle as their new manager. Curle succeeds Martin Allen, who was sacked hours after a 3-0 defeat in a League One match at Hartlepool on Saturday.

Curle was working as Neil Warnock's assistant at QPR, until Warnock lost his job there last month. The 48-year-old is thought to have turned down the chance to join Warnock's staff at Leeds.

The former England defender managed Mansfield, Chester and Torquay prior to linking up with Warnock at QPR.

Grayson takes over Terriers

The former Leeds manager Simon Grayson has been appointed as the new manager of Huddersfield. The former Aston Villa and Leicester defender was sacked by Leeds three weeks ago. Huddersfield dismissed Lee Clark last week, despite lying fourth in League One.

The Huddersfield chairman, Dean Hoyle, said: "Simon has a proven track record of success in this division. He knows League One inside out and he knows exactly what it takes to get teams promoted to the Championship."