Glenn Hoddle last night expressed his "shock and disappointment" at losing his job as manager of Tottenham and said he would return to football "at the highest level".
Hoddle was sacked by the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, last night in response to the team taking four points from the first six games of the season. He said he was surprised by the decision.
"I am shocked and disappointed to have parted company with Tottenham over the weekend only six matches into the new season," said Hoddle, who plans to resume his career later. "This is the first time in my managerial career it has happened to me for football reasons.
"I have been a dedicated professional and also a life-long Spurs fan, and no one could have tried harder to turn things round for the club. I have built a great squad that, when fully fit, can go on to do very well this season."
Hoddle's departure was described by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust as "like a death in the family". Daniel Wynne, spokesman for the trust, said: "It is like a death in the family - one of our sons has failed. However, sometimes a death can put people out of their misery - and that is how it feels for us right now."
David Pleat, Tottenham's director of football, has been made caretaker manager, but as Spurs started the process of finding a permanent replacement Graeme Souness appeared to rule himself out by saying: "There are very few jobs in football better than mine."
A surprise candidate is David Ginola, who said yesterday: "The club is in my heart."
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- Stephen Carter