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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Support Grows for Venables

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


LONDON -- Both friends and enemies are suggesting that Terry Venables should stay on with England's national soccer side.


The ground-swell of support for Venables -- who said Wednesday he would step down as coach after June's European Championships -- comes as many of the top candidates to take the job have said they do not want it.


Venables stepped down citing his wish to focus on a series of legal battles involving his business affairs. The most widely talked about case involves a suit against Tottenham Hotspur chairman Alan Sugar for firing him as the club's coach.


But now Sugar has joined fans of Venables in suggesting he may return.


"My gut feeling is that he will continue as England manager," Sugar said. "I think too many people have reacted too quickly. I know Terry has said he's not going to do it, but in a couple of months things may be different."


Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson, Venables' assistant on the national team and now the favorite to succeed him, has urged Venables to return.


Robson is one of five contenders for the job who initially said they would not take it. The list also includes Spurs' manager Gerry Francis, Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle, Newcastle's Kevin Keegan and Queens Park Rangers' Ray Wilkins.


Sunday's British newspapers rallied around Venables, blasting members of the Football Association's international committee for not giving unbending support to Venables, 53.