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Latest news - October 1999.
 Mark Hughes to continue as caretaker boss.
Mark Hughes is set to continue as caretaker boss until the end of the current Premiership season. Talks took place this morning between FAW general secretary David Collins and Southampton officials. Southampton were happy to give the FAW permission to talk to Mark at the end of his playing contract, and also for him carry on a part-time basis for another two matches in the new year.

Monday, October 18th 1999.

 Southampton confirm approach for Mark Hughes.
Southampton have confirmed an approach by the FAW about appointing Mark Hughes as manager. The FAW will meet Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe for talks next week.

Friday, October 15th 1999.

 FAW delay announcement - and keep Sparky waiting.
The FAW have delayed announcing Mark Hughes as new
full-time manager. According to FAW secretary David Collins discussions are to be held with the new manager's club and chairman over the next few days, but he refused to confirm
it was Hughes and Southampton.

What David Collins said:

"The FAW council has met and decided to open negotiations with regard to a national team manager, and following a successful conclusion of those talks we hope to be able to make an announcement shortly."

"Those negotiations will take place over the next few days and we hope to be able to announce the successful applicant."

"We will now be talking to the individual and the club concerned, we need to talk to the chairman and to get his permission to approach the player and take it from there. We will be offering the player a contract to become our national team manager."

Thursday, October 14th 1999.

 Mark Hughes to be offered long-term contract?
The FAW meets in Cardiff tomorrow to consider an expected sub-committee recommendation that Mark Hughes should be offered a long-term contract as full-time manager of Wales.

Wednesday, October 13th 1999.

 Mark Crossley after number one spot.
Mark Crossley has vowed to become Wales' number one goalkeeper, and then keep it for the next ten years. Four years ago he was injured after replacing Neville Southall as number one. Paul Jones then came in and Crossley never regained the number one spot again.

What Mark Crossley said:

"Now it's time to make up for lost time and I think I can do it."

"Wales has a very good chance of qualifying for the World Cup and I want to be part of that."

Tuesday, October 12th 1999.

 Mark Hughes receives strong backing.
Mark Hughes has been given strong backing to become full-time Wales manager by Phil Pritchard, the chairman of the FAW's football committee. The sub-committee will meet in Cardiff on Wednesday, with a full FAW council meeting held the following day.

What Phil Pritchard said:

"The main thing Mark has brought to the situation is the professional organisation and the attitude of players."

"The organisation is vastly enhanced now. Coaches Eric Harrison and Eddie Niedzwiecki are doing an exceptionally good job for Mark, and from the players' point of view it is noticeable that they seem to be a lot happier."

"They seem a better close-knit team as a group. There is a long way to go but at the same time there are definitely some very good pointers coming out of the situation."

"I still think that Mark Hughes is doing an exceptionally good job. I must emphasise that this is only a personal opinion, and on the football committee everybody is an individual and we are all entitled to our own opinions. I'm sure those opinions will come out this week."

"I don't believe the result of Saturday's game will have an effect."

"But the organisation and professionalism around Mark Hughes and the team behind him are very, very good."

"I think it's fair to say that we can do without a defeat at any time but I suppose it's fair comment to say that had we won the decision would have been pretty clear."

Monday, October 11th 1999.

 Wales v Switzerland: Match reaction.
What Mark Hughes said:

"A lot of positives have come out of the Switzerland game. We've blooded a few youngsters and we have a group of players desperate to do well and it is up to us to work with them. If we had won the game handsomely things would have been a lot better for me."

"But I think what I've tried to do has made a difference."

What Gary Speed said:

“Hopefully, we can learn from this defeat and figure out what we should do next time.

“We were too slow in coming to terms with Switzerland’s system. Senior players including me, should have sorted it out. We let Mark down a bit.”

What John Hartson said:

“I would like to think this poor performance won’t have a bearing on Sparky getting the job.”

“Without wishing to put my foot in it with the Welsh FA I think it would be foolish to look elsewhere unless they are going for a proven manager like John Toshack."

“Sparky is a Welshman through and through. He’s got 70-odd caps and knows how much it would mean to reach a major championship finals.

What Dean Saunders said:

"This game was important for Mark. I think it should be a Welsh manager and I think Mark is perfect."

Monday, October 11th 1999.

 Kevin Ratcliffe: Give the job to Sparky.
Kevin Ratcliffe believes the FAW must give Mark Hughes the job full-time.

What Kevin Ratcliffe said:

“I think if the FAW had any sense, they would tell him it's his as long as he want's it.”

“If he's the right man they should say so before the Switzerland game.”

Friday, October 8th 1999.

 Mark Hughes to be given the job full-time.
Mark Hughes will be given the job of new Wales manager next week on a full-time basis. He is being offered a four-year contract to manage Wales through to the 2002 World Cup finals, and then onto the 2004 European Championships.

What FAW chairman Phil Pritchard said:

“You only have to look at the effect that Mark Hughes has had on the squad.”

“We now want a manager to take charge long term, to take us through the next two major international tournaments.”

Wednesday, October 6th 1999.

 Wales v Switzerland latest news.
Ryan Giggs' hamstring injury has finally forced him out of the game against the Swiss.

What Ryan Giggs said:

“I am going to carry on training and hopefully I will be back next week.”

“It had settled down nicely and at the start of the week I had give myself a 50-50 chance.”

“Once I stepped up training I could feel it."

Friday, October 8th 1999.

John Hartson says he will not be to dismayed if he does not make the starting line-up for the Swiss game. After the 2-1 win in Belarus it makes it harder for him to get back into the team.

What John Hartson said:

“This is the beginning of a new era for Welsh football."

Friday, October 8th 1999.

Kubilay Tuerkyilmaz is the latest Swiss player to withdraw from their squad.

Thursday, October 6th 1999.

What Gary Speed said:

“We want to beat Switzerland because we felt we let everybody down in Zurich.”

“I don't think we need any motivation to beat the Swiss - securing Sparky in his job is all the impetus we need.”

Wednesday, October 6th 1999.

Switzerland have suffered a double blow ahead of Saturday's game. Stephane Chapuisat has pulled out because he is going through a divorce, and Ciriaco Sforza is a doubt because of his baby daughter being ill.

Wednesday, October 6th 1999.

Ryan Giggs could make a quick recovery from his latest hamstring injury. It was thought Giggs would be out of action for two months, but the injury has cleared up quickly enough for him to be in contention for Saturday's game. He rates his chances at 50/50.

What Ryan Giggs said:

“I will give it until the last minute.”

“I rate my chances at 50/50.”

“The next few days are crucial but hopefully I will be available."

Tuesday, October 5th 1999.

Mark Pembridge (ankle) and Andy Melville (thigh) have both pulled out of ahead of Saturday's game. Paul Trollope of Fulham has been called in, with one of the U21's being drafted into the squad after Friday's game.

Tuesday, October 5th 1999.

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