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Football: Flurry of bets taken as Leeds are cut to 14-1.

Byline: Steve Palmer

NEW Leeds boss Terry Venables said yesterday he was "very confident" of hanging on to star defender Rio Ferdinand and one Hills punter has enough faith in El Tel to have placed a reported pounds 1,000 each-way on the Yorkshire team at 16-1 to win the Premiership, writes Steve Palmer.

Hills' spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "The appointment of Venables sparked a flurry of each-way support for Leeds and we have trimmed their

title odds from 16-1 to 14-1."

Venables told an Elland Road press conference he has to earn pounds 15m from player sales, but that Ferdinand's proposed sale to Manchester United would not necessarily be part of the re-building process.

"If we could, we'd like to keep them all, we've got a

terrific squad," said Venables.

"But the reality is that we have to deal with certain

situations. It's not a secret, there's pounds 15m to be found and that's what we've got to do.

"I took the job on that

understanding, but we still feel we've got a very, very strong squad."

Asked about his chances of keeping Ferdinand, the former England manager said: "I'm confident, very confident."

Hills make Venables' team

10-11 favourites to finish above the four other sides bossed by former England managers in the Premiership.

Bobby Robson's Newcastle are 15-8, Glenn Hoddle's Spurs 7-1, Kevin Keegan's Manchester City 9-1, with Graham Taylor's Aston Villa the 12-1 outsiders.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2002
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