Smith could stay for World Cup

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Mike Smith, whose position as the manager of Wales was thought to be under threat, could stay in charge for the next World Cup campaign, it emerged yesterday.

Welsh hopes of qualifying for the 1996 European Championships have been virtually dashed by three defeats in four games, but Alun Evans, the Football Association of Wales chief executive, said there would be no rush to replace him.

"I don't envisage a decision until the spring," said Evans, who has himself come under fierce criticism from various quarters. "There is an argument for keeping Mike Smith in charge for the World Cup campaign and giving him the chance to build a team rather than use the one he has inherited."

Evans was yesterday attacked for "foul and abusive" language by the Merthyr chairman, John Reddy, who had given him a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the FAW Council.