Sauzee steps up from Hibernian captain to manager

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The Independent Football

Hibernian have appointed their club captain, Franck Sauzée, as their manager after the departure of Alex McLeish to Rangers.

The 36-year-old, who had been widely expected to fill the vacancy, decided to retire as player after the Easter Road board offered him the chance to take charge. "I am very happy and very proud to be manager here – I'm not afraid and I'm delighted to work for the club," Sauzée said. "I have seen the club improve a lot in the three years since I joined and I will do my best for Hibs."

The Celtic manager, Martin O'Neill, yesterday urged Paul Lambert to sign a new contract to keep him at the club beyond 2003. The 32-year-old Scot, who recently retired from the international game, has expressed his desire to leave Parkhead when his current deal expires in two years' time.

"Paul Lambert said he wanted to pack it in in 2003," O'Neill said. "But the way he is going at the moment I think he could definitely stay another year at least."

Raith Rovers have offered John McCormack the opportunity to sitch from Queen's Park to replace Peter Hetherston as their manager. McCormack will not rush into a decision, and he said: "They have made an offer but we will see what happens as I haven't decided yet."

The Charlton defender Mark Fish said yesterday that he was prepared to come out of international retirement if South African officials wanted him to play in next year's World Cup finals.

"At this particular moment I am concentrating on my club career and I don't think anyone could persuade me to come out of retirement to go to the African Nations Cup," he explained.

"I don't think it is the right time of year for the tournament, it is a very busy time for Charlton. Come closer to the World Cup, you never know. It is every player's dream to put on your national team shirt, so if it was sold to me in the right way, then I would definitely love to play."