THAT WAS THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

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The Independent Online
Quote of the weekend ``Paul has not had a fair start here but he has knuckled down and got on with it. People have written some of the most horrendous letters I have ever seen, but he has not let it bother him." Kevin Keegan, Newcastle manager, on his hat-trick hero, Paul Kitson.

RUMOURS Fact and fiction from the Sunday papers (Warning: This is a Cantona-free zone)

Ron Atkinson could be on the brink of a surprise comeback in the Premiership. Big Ron is wanted by Coventry City, according to the People, who allege that Phil Neal is on borrowed time in the Highfield Road manager's office.

The Sunday Mirror alleges that Alan Smith, the Crystal Palace manager, upset the eight black players in his first-team squad on the way home from last weekend's defeat at Everton with remarks about their being "naive" and easy prey for unscrupulous agents. Some of the players' parents are, according to the Mirror, considering reporting Smith to the Commission for Racial Equality.

Mickey Hazard, the veteran Spurs midfielder, reckons his career is over, after damaging knee ligaments in training last week (News of the World).

Manchester United are not the only club that could be accused of exploiting their fans' desire to buy replica kits. Newcastle United, who launched a green and blue away kit at the start of the season, will unveil a new change strip next month. According to the Sunday Sun, the colours are "lurid burgundy and navy with cream trim."

Transfer-market gossip: Arsenal are keen on Leicester midfielder Mark Draper, who is also wanted by Manchester United. Kit Symons, Portsmouth's Welsh international, could be on his way to Manchester City (Sunday Express).

Newcastle, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Tottenham will head the queue for the Republic of Ireland full-back Terry Phelan, placed on the transfer list on Saturday by Manchester City, who are also ready to sell Alan Kernaghan. Spurs are ready to pay £600,000for Dundee United midfielder David Hannah (News of the World).

Quim, a defender with the Portuguese club, Vitoria Setubal, could be the next overseas arrival at Dundee United (Sunday Mail).

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