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Hughton set for Brum hot seat

Chris Hughton is expected to be confirmed as Birmingham City's new manager in the next 24 hours.

The former Ireland international is close to tying up a deal to become Alex McLeish's replacement at St Andrew's following the Scot's switch to city rivals Aston Villa.

Hughton is believed to have edged ahead of Roberto di Matteo in the battle to take charge of the Blues.

Hughton has been out of football since parting company with Newcastle after a 3-1 defeat at West Brom in early December despite the Magpies being in mid-table in the Premier League in their first year back in the top flight following promotion.

City's owner Carson Yeung is expected to ratify Hughton's arrival in the coming days.

Dyche new Watford boss

Watford have confirmed the appointment of Sean Dyche as their new manager.

Previous boss Malky Mackay departed to become Cardiff's new boss last Friday and Watford have promoted former Hornets defender Dyche from his position as assistant manager.

Wolves land O'Hara

JAMIE O'HARA believes Wolves can become an established force in the top flight after making his loan move to Mick McCarthy's men from Spurs permanent for £5m yesterday.

O'Hara has signed a five-year contract. He said: "I'll always support Spurs but it's one of those things. Hopefully (Wolves) can push on and become a force.

"I didn't even ask for a five-year deal. They offered me it. It is fantastic and shows they wanted me and wanted me to be here for the long haul."

Inter deny Capello links

Inter Milan have denied they have approached England manager Fabio Capello to become their next coach.

The Italian giants are looking for a new tactician should Leonardo leave the club this summer to accept a sporting director's role at Paris St Germain.

Reports in Italy claimed Capello was among the candidates for the Inter hot seat.

"I can confirm that Inter has not contacted Fabio Capello or the English FA," said Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca.

"We are not interested in Capello. There are still no developments."

Irish amateurs held

The Republic of Ireland amateurs started their assault on the UEFA Regions Cup with a 0-0 draw against Turkish representative Ankara in northern Portugal yesterday.

Gerry Smith's side had the better of the chances throughout the 90 minutes and for the final quarter were a man to the good but they failed to hammer home their superiority against their Turkish opponents.

Ireland face Serbian representatives Belgrade in their next game tomorrow.

IRELAND -- A Walsh, Hoey, Carrig, Walsh, Dillon, Loughran (Kavanagh, 78), Barbour (Keddy, 90), Dunne, Whelehan, O'Sullivan (Foley, 70), Lacey.

Irish Independent