Hoddle takes a back-seat role

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The Independent Online
Glenn Hoddle, the England manager in waiting, is resigned to remaining on the sidelines during Euro 96.

The former Chelsea manager is being kept at arm's length by the present coach, Terry Venables, until he takes the England reins for the start of the World Cup qualifying campaign in September.

Hoddle, who yesterday met his future players for the first time at a Bisham Abbey training session behind closed doors and then had lunch with Venables, understands the decision.

"Terry and myself will sit down and discuss the situation," he said, "but I also understand a bit of Terry's scenario as he's worked ever so hard for the last two years to get it right for the European Championship finals.

"The middle ground may be where I get to know the players and staff, and see for myself before the Championship starts. I think during the Championship I'll probably have to take a back seat."

Hoddle also defended his decision to appoint the Scottish-born John Gorman as his England assistant. Critics have expressed surprise at the decision not to recruit a bigger name or more charismatic figure to be his right- hand man.

But Hoddle pointed to the excellent working relationship he had forged with Gorman during their time at Swindon.

"He's an excellent coach and has tremendous enthusiasm for the game," he said. "I think he'll get the best out of me and I'll get the best out of him. I partnered John at Swindon and we go back to our Tottenham days. I felt the job must be a situation where we'll be in each other's pockets and I needed someone I could bounce things off and get along with."

Changes were afoot at Hoddle's old stamping ground with Graham Rix moving up to become Chelsea's first-team coach. Rix succeeds the former Tottenham manager Peter Shreeves - No 2 to Hoddle - who has left Stamford Bridge.

Bryan Robson is to retain his player's registration for next season. "If we get the catalogue of injuries of last season I might be needed," the Middlesbrough manager, now 39, said.

David Gregory, a specialist in "retail and town centre marketing", has been appointed the Football Association's temporary commercial director following the resignation of Trevor Phillips. The 50-year-old Gregory will take charge immediately, but he will not be involved with Euro 96.

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