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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK
Robinson in pole
Nigel Martyn
Martyn was part of England's World Cup squad
Leeds boss Terry Venables has admitted that Paul Robinson is in pole position to become the club's first-choice goalkeeper next season.

Robinson was understudy to England international Nigel Martyn last term.


He (Martyn) has not helped himself
Terry Venables
Leeds manager

But he now has the chance to stake his claim on a pre-season tour of Asia, as Martyn has elected to stay at home.

"I'm going to see this lad (Robinson) and maybe I wouldn't have seen him in the three games in the other circumstance," Venables said.

"So he (Martyn) has not helped himself but we have not had any falling out whatsoever.

"I spoke to Nigel and he said: 'I'm just exhausted, I really can't face the situation'," Venables told a news conference in Melbourne on Friday.

"We had quite a common-sense conversation about it and he knows where I stand and I know where he stands.

Australia international Brett Emerton
Venables is a fan of Brett Emerton
"No problems whatsoever - yet."

Martyn was away with England at the World Cup for four weeks and said he would be in better condition for the start of the Premiership season if he missed Leeds' pre-season tour.

He claimed he was still Leeds' first-choice in a statement issued on Thursday.

Venables insisted that the club's pre-season tour would be hugely beneficial.


Would I be interested in Brett? I'm interested in all good players
Terry Venables
"By the time we get back, I will have learnt a little bit more about the group," he said.

Leeds' new coach also admitted he could be interested in Feyenoord's Australian international Brett Emerton.

"Would I be interested in Brett? I'm interested in all good players," he said.

"I have a list of players that I'm interested in. I do like the player."

Leeds beat Green Town FC 5-1 in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday and play Chile's Colo Colo in Melbourne on Saturday before tackling a Bangkok XI next week.

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