Football in Brief: Staunton sacked after record-low crowd watch latest defeat

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The Independent Football

The 41-year-old former Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton was sacked by League Two Darlington yesterday after just five months in charge. Staunton only took over at the Northern Echo Arena in October after the sacking of Colin Todd, but has been unable to prevent the Quakers from falling 19 points short of safety at the foot of the division.

Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Barnet was watched by a record-low crowd of 1,463 and chairman Raj Singh admitted he was left with little option when it came to ending Staunton's five-month term.

"It is with regret that we're having to part company with another manager during what's been a forgettable season for us, but we felt we were left with no alternative after yesterday," he said. "The most disappointing side to yesterday was the attendance – a record-low crowd told us a lot."

Portsmouth buyer set to remain incognito

The man fronting a consortium interested in a takeover of the club has defended the decision of the group's main investor to remain anonymous at this stage. Property developer Rob Lloyd has been given the go-ahead by administrator Andrew Andronikou to carry out due diligence on Portsmouth's financial state. "You mention a name then the press are all over you, queuing up outside the house and all of that," Lloyd said. "People need to back off and let us get on with the job and let my client get into a position where we know what we're actually buying."

Keane looking forward to returning to Spurs

On-loan Celtic striker Robbie Keane has confirmed he intends to start next season back at Spurs. The 29-year-old has impressed since arriving in Glasgow on transfer deadline day last month but yesterday said: "I've got a three-year contract at Tottenham so I will go back there in the summer. It's just a loan move and always has been. I've got a lot of friends down at Tottenham and I miss the lads – I speak to them all the time and they are doing well at the moment."

French great Fernandez heads to Middle East

Former France midfielder Luis Fernandez has been appointed Israel national coach until the end of next year. Fernandez will take up his position on 1 May and will start off by leading Israel in away friendlies against Chile and Uruguay at the end of that month. He played 60 times for France and was a member of their Euro 1984 winning squad alongside Michel Platini. After retiring as a player he coached Paris St Germain and Athletic Bilbao.

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