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In brief: Capello in dark over FA coach

FABIO CAPELLO has been left in the dark over the appointment of a new English coach to the national team set-up. Football Association general secretary Alex Horne revealed he had a "preferred candidate" for the role and expected to have them in place next month.

A source close to Capello said that the Italian management team "know nothing" about any appointment and that they have not been consulted about any candidates.

In the aftermath of England's World Cup failure in South Africa, Capello agreed in principle to bring in a young English coach to his team, someone who could provide continuity when Capello leaves the job after Euro 2012.

However, it is understood that role has now changed, and will involve work with the development squads only. Capello and his coaching team were surprised by Horne's announcement and it has only added to the England manager's sense of isolation from his employers.

Stokes double inspires Celtic

MANAGER Neil Lennon claimed two-goal hero Anthony Stokes should have had a hat-trick after Celtic's 3-0 win at Hibernian consolidated their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

After setting up a 44th-minute opener for Gary Hooper, ex-Hibs striker Stokes tucked in a 50th-minute penalty after he was brought down. Dubliner Stokes skilfully netted his second after 64 minutes to confirm Celtic's win at the end of a difficult week which saw Lennon and fellow Northern Irishmen Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn sent bullets in the post.

Of Stokes, the Celtic boss said: "He's an instinctive player and that will have done him the world of good. Second half he was excellent. He was full of running and really should've got his hat-trick."

Celtic remain five points clear of rivals Rangers, 4-0 winners over Hamilton yesterday, although the Gers do have three games in hand.

Kilbane nets 50th club goal

KEVIN KILBANE scored the 50th goal of his club career as his first half goal helped Huddersfield Town to a 4-2 win over Walsall to help them to second in the League One table.

Kilbane, on loan from Hull City, found the net in the 19th minute with a strike from inside the box. The versatile 33-year-old has also scored eight times for Ireland.

Norwich deny Cardiff late on

NORWICH'S Russell Martin scored a dramatic injury-time equaliser to deny fellow Championship promotion hopefuls Cardiff all three points in a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road. John Parkin gave the visitors a dream start when he hammered home from 25 yards on his Bluebirds debut, and despite significant home pressure, Norwich looked like gaining no reward for their efforts.

However, Martin capitalised on some hesitant Cardiff defending to squeeze the ball home from close range to ensure they remain level on points with third-placed Cardiff.

Leaders QPR were held to a scoreless draw by Burnley, who expect to confirm Eddie Howe as boss this week.

Leeds get back on track

LEEDS UNITED reignited their faltering bid for automatic promotion with a 4-0 home victory over Scunthorpe. Simon Grayson's side had failed to win in four Championship outings, but perhaps lifted by last week's FA Cup draw at Arsenal, they cruised to victory yesterday with three goals in 12 first-half minutes from Sanchez Watt, Max Gradel and Bradley Johnson.

Substitute Davide Somma hit the fourth two minutes from time. The result sees Leeds maintain fifth spot in the table.

Long amongst goals again

SHANE LONG continued his hot scoring streak as Reading outlined their promotion credentials with an emphatic 3-0 victory away to Doncaster.

The Tipperary striker fired the Royals into a first-half lead with a cool finish to net his eighth goal in the last seven games. Jimmy Kebe grabbed the second when he lobbed Neil Sullivan after the break and Jobi McAnuff made sure the points were heading south when he blocked a clearance that flew into the bottom corner.

Real boss open to Ruud return

JOSE MOURINHO said he would welcome back Ruud van Nistelrooy to Real Madrid after the striker was linked with a move to the club in the Spanish media.

When asked about a possible move for the Dutchman, Mourinho said: "There are lots of names being mentioned. If in the end it's Ruud I'll be very happy. I know him well as a player and a person. I'd be very happy if it's him."

Sunday Indo Sport