Robson stays at Middlesbrough

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The Independent Online
The chances of Bryan Robson succeeding Terry Venables as England coach after Euro 96 looked to have ended yesterday after he signed a two- year extension of his contract with Middlesbrough which will keep him at the Riverside Stadium until 1999.

Robson, whose present contract expires next summer, is currently understudy to Venables, but has repeatedly expressed his determination to gain a wider grounding in club management.

The former Manchester United and England captain joined Boro in the summer of 1994 and won the First Division title at the first attempt, working closely with his assistant manager, Viv Anderson, who has also been rewarded with a two-year extension.

Explaining why he had pledged his future to the club, Robson said: "Since I joined Middlesbrough, chairman Steve Gibson has always backed my decisions 100 per cent while making the money available for me to go out and compete for the world's top players.

"However, the deciding factor that really swayed me was the way that the people of Teesside have backed the team and turned up in their droves week in, week out. I can't thank the fans enough for their support."

Paul Ince looks set to reveal today that he will stay with Internationale, despite speculation that he could return to Old Trafford. United could take up an option in his contract if he decides to quit life in Italy. However, Ince said: "Things are going really well and I think that I am more than likely going to stay. There are just a couple of issues I need to clear up. If they are, then I will stay. If they are not, then I will come back."

Ince is worried about the racist treatment he has been getting in Italy, as well as refereeing decisions which have gone against him because of his robust style of play. "I don't like racism in any form," Ince said. "It is one of the things I have got to sort out."

Ince is aware that since he left Old Trafford, United have coped well without him. "As for coming back to United, the likes of Roy Keane and Nicky Butt are still young and I don't know if I would get in the side."

Newcastle's Faustino Asprilla, who scored the only goal in Colombia's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Wednesday, was robbed during the match. Thieves broke into Asprilla's hotel room and stole a gold chain and $1,000 (pounds 650) in cash. Asprilla scored in the 53rd minute with a powerful 22-yard shot after being set up by Carlos Valderrama.

Gabriel Batistuta equalled Diego Maradona's record of 34 goals for Argentina as he scored in his country's 3-1 win over Bolivia in their World Cup qualifying match on Wednesday.

Midfielder Ariel Ortega scored twice in the first 18 minutes to set Argentina on the way to a convincing win before Batistuta's record-equalling goal early in the second half. Julio Cesar Baldivieso replied for Bolivia three minutes before half-time.

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