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Latest news - June 1999.
 FAW looking to take their time.
The FAW are refusing to be rushed into the appointment of a new national team manager.

A six-man committee has been set up to find the right man and it points to somebody with a proven track record.

"What FAW secretary David Collins said:"

"We will be hoping to arrange the first meeting of the sub-committee for next week, certainly as soon as possible."

"There are two views on whether we are dragging our feet - whether we want someone in place as soon as possible or whether we are going to do the job properly and assess who is available and who is interested."

"We are looking for the best possible candidate rather than a quick appointment."

"We do not intend to rush into this because we are not faced with the same situation we had to contend with in Italy.

"Our sub-committee will eventually come to a list of people they wish to interview. No names have been mentioned so far although a number of people have written in."

"But I wouldn't consider there is a serious candidate in the letters we have already received."

"We haven't had a serious contender apply by post, by letter. The sub-committee recognises that they will have to approach serious contenders who will not necessary actually apply."

"There is no time limit. The sub-committee will meet fairly quickly to consider how we will proceed."

"It will be for that sub-committee to decide at their first meeting how they will proceed and it is for them to recommend whether we have an appointment before the next game with Belarus in September."

"No recommendation has been made that the new man has to be Welsh. If the manager they select is still under contract with a club then we will have to open negotiations with his employers."

"We haven't given any financial limits on what we could go to as far as pay for the new manager that is for the sub-committee to decide, and they will also decide whether we are going to advertise the post."

Friday, June 25 1999.

 New manager - Latest odds.
John Toshack 2-1
Kevin Ratcliffe 2-1
Ian Rush 4-1
Bryan Flynn 4-1
Terry Yorath 5-1
Joe Kinnear 5-1
Peter Shreeves 5-1
Peter Nicholas 6-1
Neville Southall 8-1
Terry Venables 8-1
Peter Taylor 8-1
Mark Hughes 10-1
Mike Walker 10-1

Tuesday, June 22 1999.

 Yorath would love to be boss again.
Terry Yorath is prepared to put differences behind him if the FAW want him to return as national team manager..

Yorath admits he would love to take over for a second spell in charge. His contract was not renewed at the end of 1993 after we failed to qualify for the World Cup 1994.

"What Terry Yorath said:"

"I'm out of work at the moment and the job I had with Wales was the best I have ever had. If they came to me I would be interested."

"It's up to the FAW. We didn't exactly part as good friends but I have never held a grudge in my life and I still don't."

Friday, June 11 1999.

 UEFA angered by the paltry number of Danish fans.
UEFA have been angered by the paltry number of Danish supporters who made the trip Anfield, after Denmark's FA had claimed 4,000 would attend the game.

The Danes used the argument to persuade UEFA against switching the tie to Ninian Park, but less than 250 tickets were taken up by the visitors.

At the meeting between the two football associations on the morning of the match, the official UEFA delegate pointedly asked the Danes: "Where are the 4,000 you promised? Why are there so few fans here?"

To be honest it came as now suprise that so few turned up for the match, as the Danes would have found Ninian Park a lot more intimidating and hostile

"What FAW said:"

"We anticipated this would happen."

"The Danes didn't want to play in Cardiff because the atmosphere would have been more intimidating and obviously helped us. Frankly we feel we have been conned, and so were UEFA."

“Council members were very disappointed that there were fewer than 300 Danish fans”

“The Danish FA told Uefa that between 7,000 and 8,000 supporters would be attending. That’s why Uefa turned down our appeal to move the game to Cardiff. But two weeks later they applied for only 300 tickets.”

Friday, June 11 1999.

 Southall wants Wales job full-time.
Neville Southall says he wants to become full-time manager of Wales after watching his side lose 2-0 against Denmark in last night Euro 2000 qualifier.

"What Neville Southall said:"

"If I have to apply in writing I will because I want the job very much"

"If you want me to throw my hat in the ring, I will throw in a stetson."

Thursday, June 10 1999.

 Let's get behind the team.
Neville Southall and Mark Hughes have appealed to the Welsh public to get behind their team at Anfield on Wednesday.

Southall and Hughes with 163 caps between them, have been put in temporary charge of the Wales side following the resignation of Bobby Gould on Saturday.

So far around 7,000 tickets have been sold but the FAW say the turnstiles will be open.

Mark Hughes has underlined that despite the defeat in Italy Wales can still qualify for a play-off place.

"What Neville Southall said:"

"We need to get the people into Anfield to make it a part of Wales for the night. We can still qualify from this group and we need the help and support of the Welsh public."

"The one thing we know we have to do now is be positive, and we know we have to score. That hasn't happened in the last two games."

"We have some of the best players we have had for a while. Ryan Giggs is one of the best players in the world, Mark has won just about everything there is and we have a fine captain in Gary Speed."

"The players have to play their part now too, it has to be an open relationship and if they have anything to say, then say it,"

"It's going to be a difficult game for us, but if we are going to have the co-operation of the players we can do it."

"What Mark Hughes said:"

"All is not lost. We still have a great chance in the group. Wednesday will be important, but we have always felt that we can beat Belarus and Switzerland, and a win against Denmark will really set us up."

Monday, June 7 1999.

 Neville Southall and Mark Hughes to take charge against Denmark.
Neville Southall and Mark Hughes have been put in charge for Wednesday's Euro 2000 qualifier against Denmark at Anfield. They then could find themselves competing for the manager's jobs or being appointed as a management team.

FAW secretary general David Collins announced the appointments at the team hotel and stressed it was for just one match initially.

"What Neville Southall said:"

"If you are ambitious in football, you always want the top jobs. And this is one"

"Both myself and Mark would be very interested in doing the job permanently as individuals or as a pair"

"But at the moment all we are concentrating on is winning on Wednesday, then it's up to the FA to make their decision."

"But what I would say is that they will have to go a long way to find a better partnership."

"This has got to be a new beginning, of course it's a sad time for us all but we have to concentrate on Wednesday and be positive for Welsh football."

"Was I surprised that Bobby quit? Yes and no"

"Yes because of the timing. But no because you had to sit down and take stock of what has gone on over the last four years"

"He's a very honest man and I feel he thought that Wednesday would be one game to many for him and he couldn't lift the players. He made a very brave decision."

"It's a difficult time for Mark and me. Not only did we lose again but we also lost the manager. But there's a saying in football that a week is a long time."

"Hopefully by the end of Wednesday night we can be in second place and send the Welsh people away happy for their holidays."

"What Mark Hughes said:"

"It's something I would certainly be interested in at this stage of my career"

"From the Welsh public's point of view they feel that the pre-requisite of the job is that that it's done by a Welshman"

"Both of us are very proud Welshmen. It is difficult circumstances but we are obviously both delighted to have been given this chance. It's only in the short term for the moment, but we will have to see."

"I have taken my UEFA coaching badge and would love the chance to do the job."

"But at the moment we are only looking at Wednesday, and hopefully we will get back on track."

"The future of individuals take second place to Wednesday's game."

"What David Collins said:"

"The FA council will meet at the end of the month and the situation will be discussed and a decision hopefully announced to have the job filled permanently in time for our next match in Belarus in September"

Monday, June 7 1999.

 Gould resigns as Welsh manager.
Bobby Gould has resigned as manager of Wales after the 4-0 defeat by Italy in their Euro 2000 qualifier.

Gould announced his decision over the telephone to his wife, and then informed FAW officials and finally his players.

Gould has recommended that Neville Southall and Mark Hughes are put in charge for Wednesday's game with Denmark at Anfield.

"What Bobby Gould said:"

"I felt I could no longer lift the players. The players have not said much to me after I informed them of my intention."

"I believe it is in the best interest of Welsh football if I depart at this time."

"The next game is vital in this group, and Wales still have a possibility of qualifying for the European Championship."

"The players were told after I had spoken to my wife. I believe heartfeltly that it is in the best interests of Welsh football. I have had four wonderful years and never thought I would experience international football."

"I made a decision after the overall performance, and what I witnessed. I felt it was necessary for Wales."

"It is rubbish for anybody to suggest that it was the players who picked the team for this match, and it is ironic that even though we lost 4-0, we played well at times."

"I hope Welsh football can be built on the foundations that I have laid. But I also believed that after this result the Welsh people would have turned."

"The Welsh officials did try to persuade me not to, but my mind was made up. I said to the players that they must go on and win it on Wednesday, but I have a gut feeling that this is the time to go."

"I want to be able to live with myself and put my head on the pillow."

"I want them so much to qualify and I believe they can."

Sunday, June 6 1999.

 Gary Speed looks forward to Saturday's game against Italy.
As Gary Speed looks forward to Saturday's game against Italy, he sends out a rallying cry to his fellow players, saying we should not be frightened of facing some of the best players in world football.

He also points out that if Belarus can draw in Italy then Wales can also achieve the same result.

"What Gary Speed said:"

"We have got confidence of doing something against Italy. They were held by Belarus, and when we beat them last October we knew then they were a good side and could upset people."

"They did just that in March. So if they can draw in Italy, so can we. We played well against Italy last September at Anfield, so we believe we can do something."

"I look forward to the challenge of facing countries like Italy; it's a dream come true to play against the best players in the world, and if you are frightened of that you shouldn't really be in the game."

"If we play like we did at home to Italy we do have a chance. It's good to have Ryan Giggs back. His confidence must be sky high, and when he's with us it's a real boost. He would improve any team in the world."

"Our defeat in Switzerland in our last game was a real disappointment, and with all due respect to them they were not a great side. If we'd played anything like to our true level we would not have lost that one."

"We must not let that result get us down and bounce straight back. I'm sure we will."

"Nobody expects us to win in Italy, even though we will be doing our best. They are on their own patch and expected to walk it. But Belarus didn't lose against them, and neither should we."

"No matter what happens in Italy, I feel we must beat Denmark next week. If we don't do that then we can probably say goodbye to our chances."

"We just have to get that second spot and if we can beat Denmark we can go into the next game in September in good heart and with a genuine chance of claiming the second spot and a play-off chance."

Friday, June 4 1999.

 It is a miracle I'm back before the summer.
Paul Jones should not be even playing in Saturday's group one Euro 2000 clash against Italy. He was told he would be out until next season after slipping a disc against Switzerland in March. But four weeks later he was back playing for Southampton and helping them fight off relegation from the premiership.

"What Paul Jones said:"

"I was originally told that I was finished for the season after I had a scan that showed I had a slipped disc which was trapping the nerves on the right of my body and effecting my right leg."

"I'd given up. I was resigned to missing this Wales trip and not being around until next season."

"I didn't expect to be back to help Southampton in their fight against relegation, but I managed to play in the last two games - we won both and I kept two clean sheets."

"I had a chat with another specialist and was told I could try an injection, an epidural at the base of the spine,"

"It's what they give to pregnant women in childbirth, but if it was going to give me a chance of playing quicker than expected I was all for it."

"He told me if they get the injection spot on, it could really help."

"Well, within an hour or so there was a complete change. There was so much less pain than I'd been experiencing for the previous weeks - it was almost miraculous."

"We played really well to win at Wimbledon, but the last day of the season when we beat Everton was the big one because they were already safe and had started to play really well."

"So I felt I had played my part in helping Saints stay in the Premier League and had given myself a chance to play in these internationals."

"The good end to Saints season has obviously boosted my confidence and I know it's done the same to for my team-mate Mark Hughes."

"It means we have joined up with Wales in good spirits, and to find Ryan Giggs with us after he had just won the Treble has given us another boost us well."

"Things like that help in international weeks because the squad has been virtually the same now since the European Championships started."

"Having Ryan with us is great. He's one of the top players in the world and we are lucky he's Welsh."

"From my point of view after Manchester United had won the Double, I really wanted them to win the European Cup as well because it meant that Ryan would be joining us and be absolutely flying and on great form."

"I know Italy are a world power and clear favourites, but we didn't do too badly against them at Anfield last September."

"We got stuck into them and made it very hard for them, although we realise it's going to be very difficult for us out here."

"But you won't find anyone from the squad who doesn't believe we can get something from the game to set us up for next Wednesday's match at Anfield against Denmark."

Thursday, June 3 1999.

 Ryan Giggs ahead of Saturday's Group one Euro 2000 clash.
Ryan Giggs is aiming to produce another great performance to end an incredible season. Here are his views on Wales from their training camp in Riccione ahead of Saturday's group one Euro 2000 clash.

"What Ryan Giggs said:"

"The criticism hurts, I'm a proud Welshman, I've never said anything else but that."

"It hurts because all my family are Welsh and they read that sort of criticism and it hurts them too, I'm really proud of being Welsh."

"But I am used to it all now. At first it hurt, but it's been going on for a long time now, I'm just used to it."

"It has never been the case that United frown on me playing friendlies for Wales."

"I came into the Welsh squad when I was 17 and even then Alex Ferguson was resting me for games for United and he thought that if he was resting me for United and there was a Welsh game coming along, and I was say 17 or 18, then I should still rest - he didn't want me to be burnt out at 26."

"I was seven when I moved from Cardiff to the north. But I feel a strong Welshman, that's what I am. All my family are Welsh, my mum and dad are Welsh and I see them regularly."

"From say seven to 13 or 14, I went back home every school holidays, so I was always there in Cardiff."

Wednesday, June 2 1999.

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