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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 07:55 GMT
Hoddle plea to Saints fans
Glenn Hoddle has pleaded for a second chance to manage Southampton despite a furious reaction from supporters.

Hoddle insists he wants to succeed Gordon Strachan, but faces opposition after quitting for Spurs in March 2001.

He said: "I think I have unfinished business. If the fans feel I'm not the man for the job then so be it.

"But I sincerely feel there was a good job done. I very much hope the fans would allow me the chance to take Southampton on to the next level."

Hoddle added: "The main thing is it has to be right for Southampton.

"I understand their frustrations at the way my managership of the club ended last time, but I hope they can understand that the lure of Tottenham was too great for me to turn down.

"They were the only club I would have left Southampton for because they were close to my heart since the age of eight."

Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe confirmed on Thursday that Hoddle was a candidate for the manager's job.

Lowe rejected suggestions he had bowed to fans pressure in dropping plans to bring Hoddle back to the club he walked out on three years ago.

But Lowe told a news conference Hoddle could still replace Gordon Strachan and he would not be swayed by fans.

Lowe said the popular choice was not always the right one and that people deserved a second chance.

"The shields are up and the Klingons are shooting at us and every time they land a punch they are sapping our power.

"Of course we will listen to what the supporters have to say, but at the end of the day they support the club but they don't run it.

The shields are up and the Klingons are shooting at us
Saints chairman Rupert Lowe

"He (Hoddle) is a tremendous coach," Lowe said.

"We want somebody who can coach the excellent squad we have built up, to lead them and be tactically aware so instead of us going to Old Trafford and Highbury and losing narrowly, we win.

"Yes Glenn left this club under a cloud but if anyone should be bearing a grudge it is me as he put me through the mill (when he left).

"It took me some time to find a solution and when we appointed Gordon Strachan we had a similar response from fans because of what had happened at Coventry.

"I am not ruling anything in and I am not ruling anything out.

"But regardless of whether he is the popular choice we will do what is right for this club."

At the weekend fans unveiled banners protesting against Hoddle replacing outgoing Strachan.

The strength of opinion against Hoddle's return even took in Southampton's MPs.

Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead said: "My immediate reaction is that this is not a good idea.

"I am not sure it is the right move."

John Denham, member for Southampton Itchen, said: "Hoddle managed to upset a lot of supporters when he left this club.

"He received huge support from them yet he couldn't bring himself to say anything nice about the club, the city or the fans when he left."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe
"Glenn Hoddle is an option"


Glenn Hoddle
"Rupert and I have had talks"





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