Kendall put forward as candidate

Football

Howard Kendall yesterday joined the candidates for the England coaching vacancy, while the Association denied a report suggesting that Bryan Robson has already been offered the job.

Kendall, newly installed at Sheffield United and probably the best qualified of any current English-born manager, was put forward by Ray Wilkins, the Queen's Park Rangers player-manager.

"No one has mentioned Howard Kendall," Wilkins said. "He won the League, the FA Cup and the European Cup- Winners' Cup with Everton and has experience of being in the thick of things right at the top."

Reports that Robson would soon be leaving Middlesbrough were dismissed at Lancaster Gate. "No one has been offered the job," Claire Tomlinson, the FA spokeswoman, said. "It is pure speculation."

That speculation had Howard Wilkinson being asked to combine the duties of technical director and national coach, while the Tottenham chairman, Alan Sugar, suggested Venables might yet be persuaded to stay on.

"My gut feeling is that Terry will continue," Sugar said. "In a couple of months everything could look quite different."

Sugar's own manager, Gerry Francis, again ruled himself out. "I'd find it absolutely frustrating working on a Wednesday night, going home to watch a video of the match and then not being able to go through it with the players for maybe a couple of months," he said.

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