Leeds suffer setback as Hart pledges future to Forest

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The Independent Football

Leeds United's hopes of prising Paul Hart away from the City Ground suffered a blow last night when he declared his commitment to Nottingham Forest.

The former Leeds defender and youth team coach was widely touted as Peter Reid's replacement. Eddie Gray - a youth team coach at the same time as Hart - has taken over as caretaker and has said he would like the job full-time.

Leeds officials met Hart on Tuesday evening, but yesterday he said: "The speculation is none of my doing and I honestly don't feel the need to be forever reacting to situations beyond my control. It may be seen by some people as flattering to be linked with other clubs but it can also have a nuisance element to it.

"All I can say is that I have never been more committed to my job with Nottingham Forest and all that concerns me is our game against Wigan a week on Saturday."

Neil Warnock, the Sheffield United manager, has also been mentioned, and the Sheffield United vice-chairman Terry Robinson moved to reassure the club's fans that they will do all they can to retain the services of the man who has rekindled their hopes of Premiership football.

"Continuity is important and Neil Warnock, David Kelly [assistant manager] and Tony Daley [fitness coach] only started two-year contracts this summer. We urge our supporters to remember that all the talk at the moment has been speculation generated solely by the media."

Gray has quickly returned troubled striker Mark Viduka to the squad after his run-in with Reid, but suggestions that the Australian will not have to pay the £130,000 fine imposed on him by the former manager are wide of the mark. Viduka was fined two weeks' wages, but although Gray said that the striker will start with a clean slate, the punishment remains.

Bradford City are also looking for a new manager, and Chris Kamara has emerged as the name on top of the shortlist to succeed the sacked Nicky Law. The television pundit started his career at Valley Parade and guided the Bantams out of the Second Division before leaving after rows with the then chairman Geoffrey Richmond.

The Yorkshire-based coach turned down the chance to work with Sheffield United recently but the opportunity to be a No 1 may be too tempting to resist. Bradford are also considering Terry Dolan, Steve Cotterill and Lawrie Sanchez.

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