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Football: Wolves Axe McGhee But Atky Can Forget It.

WOLVES will not be seeking a quick-fix manager after they sacked Mark McGhee yesterday.

That rules out any hope of Ron Atkinson stepping into the Molineux hot seat, even though he fancies the job.

Wolves, who decided to axe McGhee after a disappointing three years in charge, want somebody with a successful record.

But Atkinson, who has managed West Bromwich, Aston Villa and Coventry City, will not be in the frame.

Nor will former England skipper David Platt, looking for his first managerial job.

A Molineux insider said last night: "The board have nobody in mind but you can rule out Atkinson and Platt.

"One of them in particular would not have a prayer of getting the job."

Assistant Colin Lee has been put in temporary charge, and is likely to be looking after the team for at least a month. He says he wants the job full-time.

Former Bristol City manager John Ward and former Celtic manager Lou Macari are likely to figure prominently when the sorting out of applications begins.

John Richards, Wolves managing director, said last night: "The post will not be advertised until next week. We will not be pressured into making a quick decision."

Time finally ran out for McGhee, despite the club's best start to a season in 49 years.

They were top of the First Division in August but after they had slumped to 12th, he was shown the door.

Wolves millionaire chairman Sir Jack Hayward had been unhappy with McGhee for some time, but had been persuaded by Richards to give him more time.

However, with Sir Jack, aged 74, desperate to see his club reach the Premiership sooner rather than later, he decided enough was enough.

However, Wolves insist the axing was "by mutual agreement."

Richards said: "I spoke with Mark at Molineux, and the other board members were contacted by phone.

"We all agreed it would be in the best interests of the club to make this decision. Mark fully understood the position and the meeting ended amicably.

"We had not set any ultimatums about attaining certain results in a certain time.

"I am sad Mark was unable to secure the success for Wolves he so desperately wanted.

"Nobody who has the interests of the club at heart will take any pleasure from this decision.

"However, I do know that there are people who will take delight in this news. They will feel their comments and personal attacks over the past few weeks have been vindicated."

Fans had become disgruntled at McGhee's inability to deliver, and the Wolves gate recently slumped below 20,000 for the first time in five years.

Yet McGhee insisted the situation was beyond his control because of a lack of cash for transfers.

He said recently: "I shall be very surprised if I am not still in charge at the end of the season."

McGhee was in the final year of his contract, and will receive about pounds 200,000 compensation.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:White, Peter
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 6, 1998
Words:496
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