Platt dismisses talk of injury

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The Independent Online
David Platt, the England captain, yesterday denied reports that he is suffering from a knee injury likely to rule him out of action for the rest of the season.

"That is nonsense," the Sampdoria midfielder said. "I've jarred the knee again, but if I wasn't under suspension I could play against Arsenal in the CupWinners' Cup semi-final. I've missed some games, but it has just been a case of building up the muscle again over the knee."

Platt confirmed that he will be available to play for England in the Euro '95 tournament in June - and he also suggested that he may return to English club football, even though he has just signed a new one-year contract to stay in Italy with Sampdoria. "I could have had two years if I wanted it, but I prefer to be in charge of the situation, to keep my options open," he said. "There are ambitions I need to fulfill in England. I have never won anything there."

Tottenham's Nick Barmby and the Norwich City goalkeeper, Andy Marshall, are both injured and have withdrawn from the England Under-21 squad for Tuesday's trip to Latvia. Barnsley's David Watson replaces Marshall.

Glenn Cockerill, the former Southampton midfielder, has taken charge of Leyton Orient - who have already been relegated from the Second Division - for the remainder of the season. Cockerill, 35, who also played for Swindon, Lincoln and Sheffield United before leaving The Dell for Brisbane Road last season, replaces the joint managers, Chris Turner and John Sitton, whose contracts were this week terminated by Orient's new chairman, Barry Hearn.

Paul Futcher has parted company with Darlington "by mutual consent" after only 10 games - eight of which were lost - as manager. The former Luton, Manchester City and Barnsley defender replaced Alan Murray eight weeks ago.