Curbishley planning October return

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The Independent Football

Alan Curbishley, the former Charlton manager, will be available for management once his six-month "break" finishes at the end of September. Speaking yesterday at the launch of his book, Valley of Dreams, Curbishley, who announced his decision to step down as manager at the Valley on 29 April this year, made it clear that he had not "retired" and, although he was not actively looking, would consider offers in October.

"I haven't retired, I just felt it had been 16 years in management and when the time came to part I promised myself six months off," Curbishley said. "I was determined to try and get myself as long as I can and by the time I get through September I'll have done six months."

And what then? "If I do get back [into management], I've got an open mind on everything in [regards to] where it is," he said. "It hasn't got to be southern-based and I'd like it to be [Premiership]."

He did, though, rule out a move abroad, before adding: "If I'm lucky enough to be offered stuff I'll have to take it as it comes," including jobs at struggling Premiership clubs or even a drop down into the Championship. He missed out on several high-profile jobs in the summer - Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough - but was happy to have the time off and admitted that he does not expect the telephone to start ringing on 1 October. But as a former candidate for the England manager's job, he is highly regarded and is likely to receiveoffers when he is available.

His first return to The Valley will be tomorrow night to watch Charlton against Manchester United when he will get his first good look at his successor's new squad. It is a squad that has been well financed, something which seemed to surprise him.

"It's a bit more money than I had to spend," Curbishley said. "But he's [Iain Dowie's] got to be backed and Richard Murray and his board have to be congratulated for pulling up that the amount of money. Iain's got to stamp his mark on the club, I don't know if he will do it straight away - it takes a little bit of time."

How long will depend on Dowie's management skills and the integration of the new signings.

* Accrington Stanley knocked Nottingham Forest out of the Carling Cup last night. A Paul Mullin goal after 61 minutes gave Stanley a 1-0 win in their first-round tie at the Crown Ground.

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