Date: 16th November 2005 at 5:03pm
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The club have confirmed that Simon Clifford, who only joined the Saints 3 months ago as Sir Clive Woodwards ‘right hand man’ has left ‘to concentrate on his other projects.’

Clifford, who was hired as head of sports science reportedly upset the club last month by claiming footballers don’t train hard enough. He didn’t seem to appreciate just how heavy the diamond earings are that these players lug about! 😉 However, Sir Clive has denied that he was sacked, ‘The recent rumours are totally untrue. Simon has not been sacked or forced out in any way. It was his decision and I am very sorry to see him go.’

This latest incident will add to the rumours that all is not well at the club despite Rednapp and Woodward attending a joint press conference to deny rumours of splits. Rupert Lowe has certainly claimed harmony within the set up, but now everything will once again be under the spot light.

Clive Woodward was said to be a big admirer of Clifford’s coaching talents and gave him the task of working on individual ball skills. But according to the official site, he found it too ‘difficult to combine that with his other commitments as owner of Garforth Town and the development of his worldwide network of Brazilian Soccer Schools together with his SOCATOTS coaching courses.’

Clifford explained: ‘I was very excited about coming to Southampton and I was hoping to work with Clive for many years. But unfortunately it has proved impossible to combine that with my other projects. I believe the club can achieve great success under Rupert’s leadership and I wish him, Clive, Harry Redknapp and the players all the very best for the rest of the season. They have a great set-up there and I firmly believe they can win promotion and then push on strongly in the Premiership.’

Lowe said ‘Simon is a great coach but we needed him here full-time and that was proving difficult. We are just as disappointed as Simon that it has not worked out. I know many of the younger players in particular have benefited from working with him and several are now making very strong progress in or around the first-team.’

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