No England job for Wilkinson

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The Independent Online
Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds manager, yesterday said he was not interested in the chance to become the Football Association's technical director, a newly created post which would have offered him a key role in restructuring the English game over the next 10 years.

Wilkinson said he had given the matter considerable thought, but had decided to stay at Elland Road. "I have decided I am not yet ready to hang up my tracksuits and boots. I am very happy at Leeds," he said.

"We have achieved a lot since I came here and I feel we will continue to make progress. I want to be part of that future." Wilkinson added that, had the opportunity had arisen "four or five years down the line", his decision might well have been different.

However, David Davies, the FA's spokesman, denied Wilkinson had been offered the position, saying: "In the light of recent statements and events, the FA wants to make it clear that nobody has been offered the job of technical director. Any implication by anybody that it has been offered to them would be absurd.

"The reality is that the views of certain individuals have been sought on their vision of English football at all levels. Any decision on the appointment of a technical director is most unlikely until the first month of 1996 at the very earliest."

Paul Ince is determined to win over the Internazionale fans and recapture his England place. He admitted yesterday he has had difficulty settling in Italy following his transfer from Manchester United.

"I am hoping I will be considered for England's match against Switzerland next month," Ince said. "There has been a problem adapting to the game in Italy. It is not as aggressive as people in England kept saying and I have had to adapt, but I think it is too late to change my game. We need time to become a good side, but unfortunately, in Italy you don't get time."

Alan Ball has reacted angrily to further reports that he had put the entire Manchester City first-team squad up for sale. City prop up the Premiership with just one point from nine games and have lost their last eight matches in the League.

"I have no money to buy players and because I have said I have to make my own money, people are putting two and two together, and saying anyone and everyone's available," he said. "At this moment in time, I have had no contact with any manager in the Premiership or the First Division over the last 10 days or so."