Strachan fined pounds 2,000 for misconduct

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Gordon Strachan said yesterday that he had been given a fair hearing after being fined pounds 2,000 for two misconduct charges when he appeared before a three-man Football Association commission.

Strachan, Coventry's 39-year-old assistant manager and player, was fined for refusing to leave the field after being sent off by referee Tony Green during Coventry's reserve game against West Bromwich Albion at Highfield Road in August.

Ron Atkinson, the Coventry manager, was fined pounds 750 for comments he made to Green in the dressing-room after the referee had left the field, causing an 11-minute delay in the match.

Strachan and Atkinson also faced misconduct charges for leaving their dug-out to protest to referee Paul Danson and assistant referee Grant Hegley during Coventry's 2-0 Premiership defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge five days earlier.

The pair admitted the charges and the commission decided to take no further action after warning them both about their future responsibilities.

Strachan said: "I got a very good and fair hearing and I'm very happy with the decision they came to. The fact that I am still able to play football shows how fair they were."

Strachan, who has made only one substitute appearance so far this season - in the 4-0 home defeat against Middlesbrough in September - said he would be "happy to play on for the reserves and help the kids along".

Alan Shearer, the Newcastle and England striker, yesterday underwent surgery to cure a nagging groin problem. He will miss England's World Cup match in Georgia on 9 November and Newcastle's Uefa Cup return leg against Ferencvaros on Tuesday.

"It looks likely I will miss four Premiership games and the England game in Georgia. I have, of course, telephoned Glenn Hoddle [the England manager] to update him," said Shearer, who had a similar operation at the end of last season to ensure his fitness for England's Euro 96 campaign.

"Fortunately, both Newcastle and England have strength in depth and I am confident that the results will continue to be positive during my time as a spectator. I had the original operation in May on my left groin and was back playing for England in just over four weeks.

"I felt some twinges around three or four weeks ago and visited the specialist, who confirmed I had a similar problem with my right groin which apparently is not unusual in these cases. The pain has been getting worse in recent games and was really bad during and after the Manchester United game."

Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager, said: "It is a blow for us in the championship race, but we must believe we've a squad deep enough and good enough to compensate. He will be out for six to eight weeks, but luckily for us that includes a break in the Premiership because of England's World Cup commitments."

Chelsea players, mourning the death of their vice-chairman, Matthew Harding, kept their grief private yesterday as they arrived for training. The club's assistant manager, Gwyn Williams, said: "This is private, there are no press allowed. We've got to work, we've got a big game on Saturday."

Security guards manned the gates to make sure no one got inside. Later, the waiting supporters were allowed in to watch the players train, but the press were asked to leave the area so the training session could be private.

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