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Wednesday, February 3, 1999 Published at 13:30 GMT

Sport: Football

Sir Bobby urges FA to look abroad

Sir Bobby has been a major figure in England's bid for the 2006 World Cup

World Cup hero Sir Bobby Charlton believes it is time to look abroad in the search for Glenn Hoddle's permanent successor as England coach.

Leading contenders Bryan Robson and Kevin Keegan have ruled themselves out of the race, and there appears to be no apparent heir waiting in the wings.

Sir Bobby claims the Football Association should break with tradition and consider managers regardless of nationality.

[ image: Davies:
Davies: "I would not rule anything out."
"There's nothing wrong with appointing someone who is not English," he said.

"All football fans in this country want is to be proud of their football team and to see it win.

"The appointment should be made on merit, and to be fair that's what the FA are already saying. David Davies from the FA has said they want the best person possible for the job.

"It doesn't really matter where the new manager comes from - but not Manchester United," Sir Bobby added jokingly in reference to the Reds' Scottish manager Alex Ferguson.

Davies, the FA's executive director also confirmed that the search for a long-term successor to Hoddle would not be confined to English-born candidates.

The Hoddle File
"The only thing we are looking for is the best person for the job." Davies added in an interview with the BBC's Breakfast News: "I would not rule anything out in that direction."

Earlier, Davies pledged that the FA would consult widely with experts within and outside the game.

Davies said: "We have built up a fund of knowledge about what are the attributes an England coach needs and that knowledge is what we want to pool with a host of other people to find a successor to Glenn.

"After the France game we will move quickly in terms of a permanent successor to Glenn," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Davies played down reports that David Platt and Howard Wilkinson could be the management team to lead England.

Platt's departure from the coaching staff at Sampdoria on Tuesday coincided with Glenn Hoddle's sacking as England boss.

Already today there has been speculation that Platt could link up with Wilkinson who is the caretaker boss of the England team.

Davies, the FA's executive director, said: "David is a good friend of ours at Lancaster Gate and he was an outstanding player for England and he is highly regarded by Howard, but it is too early to get into anything like that."

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