Strachan makes his managerial debut

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The Independent Online
Gordon Strachan goes into his first match as Coventry City's manager admitting the fear of being branded a failure has spurred him on over the years.

The former Scottish international stepped up last week after Ron Atkinson was unexpectedly elevated to become the clubs' director of football.

Tonight's Coca-Cola Cup third-round replay against Gillingham is the start of a new career and Strachan said: "It remains to be seen whether I shall be a good manager.

"I will work at it as I worked at my game as a player. I motivated myself by being scared of having a bad game, or of making a fool of myself in front of a big crowd. It will be the same as a manager.

"How can I be as good a manager as Alex Ferguson or Howard Wilkinson or George Graham at present? I have not had their experience.

"They would probably spot mistakes a lot earlier than I will. But I can buy myself time and learn from my mistakes as they have done."

Strachan says there will be few changes in personnel. He does not intend to sell, but he wants to strengthen his squad.

Dion Dublin and Noel Whelan, who were allegedly involved in a scuffle at Atkinson's farewell party last week, will start the match.

Jim Stannard returns in goal for the Third Division side because Jonathan Gould has been recalled by Bradford and in defence Mark Harris replaces Guy Butters, who is cup-tied.

Ray Wilkins has signed another one month's contract with Hibernian after consulting with senior players at Easter Road. Jocky Scott, the caretaker manager, said the 40-year-old former England midfielder asked for advice from his team-mates before agreeing a new deal.

"Ray is flying up on a Thursday to be with us, training on a Friday and playing on the Saturday," Scott said . "He felt that the other players might resent that, but they gave him the thumbs up."

Uefa has demanded a full report from the Portuguese Football Federation over allegations of bribery and match rigging in a European Cup-Winners' Cup game 12 years ago.

Fernando Barata, the former coach of the First Division side Farense, admitted this week that he had acted as a go-between to bribe a Romanian referee when Porto beat Aberdeen in the 1984 semi-final of the competition, when Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Scottish side - the holders of the Cup.

Barata said that he paid the referee before the first-leg game, which the Portuguese club won 1-0, at the request of Porto's chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, who denies the charge. Porto went on to lose the final 2-1 to Juventus.

Uefa's head of international competition, Rene Eberle, has asked the Portuguese federation to respond to the allegation that Pinto da Costa rigged the match.

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