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Wednesday, February 17, 1999 Published at 19:18 GMT


Sport: Football

Keegan in charge - for now

Keegan has achieved his dream of coaching England

Kevin Keegan will be officially unveiled as England's new part-time coach on Thursday but is expected to explain why he will do the job for only four matches.


Paul Newman: "Keegan made it quite clear that the FA will only be getting a part time coach"
The Fulham boss insists he will lead the national side only until the summer - because he does not want the job permanently and is intent on completing his contract with the Second Division club, with ends in June 2000.

In a joint statement between the FA and Fulham, interim FA executive director David Davies said the search for a permanent replacement for Glenn Hoddle would continue.


David Davies reads the statement
Keegan will take over as part-time boss, to give him the chance to continue Fulham's bid for promotion from Division Two. In June he will return to Craven Cottage to resume his role as chief operations officer on a full-time basis.

At a Lancaster Gate press conference, Davies told reporters: "The search for a permanent successor to Glenn starts tomorrow.


[ image: Davies makes the surprise announcement at Lancaster Gate]
Davies makes the surprise announcement at Lancaster Gate
"Kevin has made his wishes absolutely clear - he wishes to complete his contract at Fulham."

Keegan, who is to hold a news conference on Thursday, released a brief statement: "I am absolutely delighted," he said. "I'm committed to Fulham but I believe I can do a successful job for England as well.

"It will be a great thrill to work with everybody connected with the national team."

Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed welcomed the news and said: "If Kevin Keegan does as good a job for his country as he has done for Fulham so far, he will make everyone proud of the England team."

Four-game tenure


Former FA Chief Executive Graham Kelly: "Bewildering and baffling decision"
Keegan's appointment was widely anticipated, with press reports linking him with the job for the past week.

But the news he will only lead the team for the European Championship qualifiers against Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria and the friendly with Hungary had not been expected.

The 48-year-old former Newcastle and Liverpool star takes over from Howard Wilkinson, who was himself named caretaker coach a fortnight ago. Wilkinson led England during last week's 2-0 defeat by France, following the sacking of Hoddle over remarks he made concerning his belief in reincarnation.

England's first game under the new coach team will be the crucial Euro 2000 match against Poland at Wembley on March 27.





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