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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 11:19 GMT
Hoddle out of Saints race
Glenn Hoddle has withdrawn his bid to become the new manager of Southampton.

The former Saints boss said a lack of full support from all the board members would have made his position "untenable and damaging to the club".

Chairman Rupert Lowe was keen on appointing Hoddle but news of his return led to protests by sections of the club's supporters.

"He was an option but if he has withdrawn his candidacy he is no longer an option," said Lowe.

In a statement, Hoddle said: "As has been widely reported in the media, I have been in active discussions regarding the position of manager at Southampton Football Club.

My position would have been untenable without the full support of the club's directors
Glenn Hoddle

"I have been particularly heartened by the level of support shown to me by the chairman and large sections of the club - including many players and supporters.

"However, whilst it is clear that there has been a great deal of support for me on the board, it has not been 100%.

"Therefore I have reluctantly decided to withdraw my name from consideration for the post.

"My position would have been untenable without the full support of the club's directors.

"That situation would also have been very damaging to Southampton Football Club - which is something, above all else, I want to avoid."

Saints supporters mounted a vociferous campaign against the return of Hoddle, who left Southampton in March 2001 to take up the manager's reins at Tottenham.

Steve Wigley remains in caretaker charge at the club following Strachan's departure on 13 February.

But Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock is in talks with the club with a view to becoming the new manager.

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