Berahino open to Baggies exit

first_img Midfielder Gabriel Obertan will miss Newcastle’s trip after tearing a thigh muscle. Manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that the Frenchman will be sidelined for a minimum of six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery, but was coy over suggestions he could be out for four or five months. Winger Rolando Aarons is a doubt with an unspecified knock, while striker Papiss Cisse is working to shake off the effects of irritation from the screws used to repair his fractured kneecap. Midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote (calf) is likely to miss the next two weeks, joining central defender Mike Williamson (muscle strain) in the treatment room. Pardew has warned summer signing Remy Cabella he will have to toughen up if he wants to make it in the Barclays Premier League. The 24-year-old midfielder, who has lost his place in the France squad after finding himself sitting on the bench for his club in recent weeks, has struggled to get to grips with the physicality of English football since leaving Montpellier. Pardew is confident Cabella, who has himself admitted that the Tyneside public are yet to see the best of him, has the ability to make a major impact, but only if he can learn to ride the challenges which will inevitably come his way. The Magpies boss said: “His conduct and professionalism are very, very impressive. That gives you heart that he’s going to be a success. “Obviously he’s definitely got technical quality, but he’s got to get a grasp. I don’t think he really gets referees. He moans (in training) when me and (assistant) John (Carver) ref – and we’re better than Premier League refs! “He goes down and he thinks some of the challenges in this division should be fouls. He genuinely believes that – but they’re not.” Cabella started the first six league games, but was eventually taken out of the firing line for the trip to Swansea on October 4. He has been used as a substitute in each of the last three, all of which have resulted in victory for the Magpies, and Pardew is confident he is quietly learning his trade in a new environment. The 53-year-old said: “I think he’s beginning to get the intensity of the division. The cameos he’s done have been significant – Spurs, Liverpool, they were significant. “He’s on the cusp of starting again now as he comes to grips with what this division’s about. The striker has been handed his first senior England call-up and would be prepared to move, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham all linked with the 21-year-old. And Berahino, who is contracted to the Baggies until 2017, acknowledged he could quit The Hawthorns to progress. “If that’s what it comes to, it has to be that,” he said. “I appreciate what West Brom have done for me and I am working hard to bring the club up. I just stay focused and right now I’m focused on West Brom and the games coming up. “I just take each game as it comes, my aim would be to play in the Champions League, to be involved in the England seniors and go and play in World Cups and Euros. “I take each game as it comes, work hard and I have a big vision and hopefully I can reach my goals. “There will be more eyes on me but I know I can handle the pressure and I have just got to focus on myself and let the football do the talking. “I’ve had a good start to the season and worked extremely hard and now I have the chance to progress even more. It’s up to me to take it with both hands.” Jonas Olsson and Silvestre Varela are the only absentees for West Brom ahead of the visit of Newcastle. Olsson is struggling with an Achilles problem while Porto loanee Varela is yet to regain fitness following a groin operation. Record signing Brown Ideye may come back into the squad after being left out completely in last week’s 1-0 win at Leicester. Saido Berahino admits he may have to leave West Brom to achieve his ambitions. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Pulis to build side round Berahino

first_img “He’s got his whole footballing career in front of him, he’s been given a gift by God and he’s very fortunate. “The most important thing he can do is make the most of it. He has to understand and recognise that to be a professional athlete, and as a good professional athlete, you have to be disciplined, and that’s most probably the way the conversation went.” Pulis is without Jonas Olsson (Achilles) but Joleon Lescott is set to return after being rested for the FA Cup win. Press Association He has been linked with a move away from The Hawthorns and the Baggies have put contract talks on hold. But West Brom have not received any bids for the 21-year-old and Pulis, who replaced Alan Irvine last week, is prepared to mould his new side around the striker. “Oh yeah, he’s a goalscorer,” he said, with Albion a point and a place about the bottom three. “He’s got the technical ability, he’s also got wonderful balance – he can adjust his feet, adjust his body. He’s gifted. “Obviously he’s very clinical when he gets in front of goal. He’s got a great future in front of him, the most important thing is he recognises and realises he’s been given a gift and he makes the most of that. “My initial thing is that he’s certainly got the talent to be a player.” Berahino is due to appear at Runcorn Magistrates Court on January 19 – the day Albion go to Everton – after being charged with drink driving. He has impressed Pulis with his attitude in training, though, and the ex-Stoke and Crystal Palace manager has held talks with the England Under-21 international. “He’s got no dirty slate with me to start with – I’ve just come through the door,” said Pulis. “I’ve been very, very impressed with his training. He’s worked very hard, he’s technically a very good player. Tony Pulis is ready to build his team around Saido Berahino as he prepares West Brom for battle. The Baggies head coach will take charge of struggling Albion for the first time in the Barclays Premier League when they host Hull on Saturday. Berahino has hit 13 goals this season, four in Pulis’ first game in charge in last week’s 7-0 FA Cup win over Gateshead. last_img read more

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Sunderland hope to seal Defoe deal

first_img The 32-year-old only left England for Toronto FC 11 months ago, but he is understood to have had a medical on Wednesday with the Black Cats. If Defoe completes the move in time he could even face his former employers Tottenham at the weekend, with Gus Poyet’s Sunderland side travelling to White Hart Lane on Saturday. Jermain Defoe says he “can’t wait” to start scoring for Sunderland as he inches closer to a Barclays Premier League return. Poyet has made no secret of his desire to add firepower to his squad – which has managed just 18 goals in 21 Barclays Premier League games so far this season – during the January transfer window, and Defoe certainly brings that. He has been prolific through his club career and has scored 19 times in 55 senior appearances for England. By contrast, Altidore has found the going tough on his return to England’s top flight, where he spent a season on loan at Hull earlier in his career. His 52 appearances to date have yielded just three goals, and only one of those has come in the league, in a 4-3 home defeat to Chelsea in December 2013. Altidore has found the back of the net only twice this season to date, for his club against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup in September last year, and for his country in a 2-2 draw with Colombia almost two months later. Should the double transfer go through, Sunderland would have to complete all the paperwork by lunchtime on Friday in order for Defoe to make his debut against Spurs. “I felt so sharp (during his run through on Wednesday). All that hard work has paid off. I can’t wait to start scoring goals for Sunderland,” Defoe told the Mirror. “Everybody knows how much I love English football and I still feel that I have a lot to offer. “People might look at my age, but I have always looked after myself and I hope I can show that with my performances.” Speculation has increased over Defoe’s future in the last week after he revealed on Twitter that he was back in Britain on January 6. The former Portsmouth forward tweeted: “Just touched down in the UK from south of France,was training with my fitness guy feeling stronger than ever! #Ready.” In the last 48 hours the noises linking Defoe with Sunderland have grown increasingly encouraging, but the deal could still be dependent on Jozy Altidore. The 25-year-old United States international had been touted to replace Defoe at Toronto in a straight swap deal, although that move would have to be approved by the MLS, which operates an allocation policy. However, it is a deal which could suit all parties with Defoe returning to the Premier League and Altidore having struggled to live up to the £6.5million fee and reputation with which he arrived from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar during the summer of 2013. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Neville: Man Utd lack control

first_imgGary Neville thinks Manchester United’s defence lacks “control” and consistency. United may be on course for Champions League qualification but their defensive vulnerabilities have been exposed on many occasions this season and they have relied heavily on the excellent form of goalkeeper David de Gea. Louis van Gaal’s men concede an average of around a goal a game and have the fewest number of clean sheets in the top five. “I see players that have talent but they’re all individually working, not having controlled movements together of in-sync. That comes through understanding and from playing together. “The reason that Chelsea have the best back four in the league is because they have good players, they play every week without many injuries. “United have been absolutely blitzed with injuries in those positions for the last three years. “At times they look all out at sea but you have to say in Louis van Gaal’s defence, he has had Darren Fletcher in defence, Michael Carrick in defence with Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young as wing backs that have done well.” Neville seems to think United have the right manager to bring back the kind of glory days he enjoyed at Old Trafford, describing Van Gaal as “a great coach”. And he thinks the Dutchman has the perfect midfielder to orchestrate United’s play in Michael Carrick. Neville believes it is no coincidence that United have lost just once since Carrick returned from a serious ankle injury he suffered last summer. “At the start of the season we were struggling, ask yourself who wasn’t playing? Michael Carrick wasn’t playing,” said Neville, who played 602 times for the club. “Now he’s playing and the club went on a great unbeaten run. “When you play with Michael Carrick you think there is authority, control, peace. “When you are on a football pitch playing against Liverpool or Manchester City, you need peace around you as well. You sometimes don’t want people running around. “Scholes and Carrick together was peaceful. It was like going into a bar and hearing a piano playing. “It’s relaxing. Listening to some good rock is good and you like that too but sometimes it’s nice to listen to a piano. Carrick’s a piano.” Press Association British trio Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have received a lot of criticism, but Neville feels they will improve if their injury problems subside. “With the likes of Smalling, Jones and Evans we still have great hopes for that penny to drop,” the former United captain told fanzine Stretty News. “They’re still developing and picking up injuries but when they stop and the penny drops you think: ‘We’ve lived with his faults, development and now we’re getting the benefit of it.’ “There is no doubt that Jones, Smalling and (Luke) Shaw have talent but they need experience, maturity and injuries to stay clear and they will fly.” De Gea has rescued United on several occasions this season, most notably against Tottenham, Everton and Stoke. And he showed his worth again on Saturday at Loftus Road when he stopped a fierce drive from Charlie Austin in United’s 2-0 win over QPR. The constant chopping and changing of players in front of De Gea has not helped United, according to Neville. “When I look at the United defence what it lacks is control,” said the England coach. last_img read more

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Battling Blues please Mourinho

first_imgJose Mourinho lauded the battling qualities of his Chelsea side after the Premier League leaders claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win at West Ham. Eden Hazard’s first-half header proved the difference as Chelsea followed their Capital One Cup win with a victory which ensured their five-point lead over Manchester City remained intact. It might have been different had the restored Thibaut Courtois not made a host of fine saves and Chelsea’s defence, shaky at times, not made some key blocks. “When good football is not enough, we fight, we suffer together, we cope with difficult moments,” Mourinho said. “It was not the best game to play after the final. The final is more than a game, because of tension, pressure and emotions. “Some periods we had to defend with everything. It’s a game where you easily can lose two points. “We had chances to kill the game. We were expecting that. “We didn’t and when you don’t do that against West Ham you are in permanent danger. Great victory for us.” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce contested Hazard’s goal should not have stood. “I’ve looked at the goal and it was offside,” Allardyce said. “Kevin Nolan was offside at Old Trafford (in September) when we scored for 2-2. There was half an inch of his nose offside and they said that was offside. “There was about six inches of his (Hazard’s) body offside this time and they said it’s onside.” Mourinho dismissed Allardyce’s complaint. The Blues boss said: “Eden starts the action outside the box and he moves the ball, Fabregas, Oscar, pass to Ramires. I don’t think Ramires is offside and Eden coming from outside the box I don’t think is offside. But I didn’t see on television. Maybe Sam saw it. For me, no. “The only goal we scored is fantastic football. If Ramires scored that goal that he hit the post, it’s fantastic football. “If Willian scores the goal with an open goal it’s fantastic football.” Mourinho, who has been critical of match officials this season, praised referee Andre Marriner and his team after an action-packed contest. “This match must be a nightmare for a referee,” he said. ” For me Andre and his assistants had a good game.” Chelsea have one trophy this season and Mourinho hopes the quality of his side can deliver further success. “Now we are trying to build. We have one cup in the pocket. Let’s see what we can do,” he added. “What’s kept us top of the league since day one is the quality of our football. (But) sometimes we lose a little bit what brought us to this position.” The loss of quality is when players are injured or suspended. On Wednesday night Nemanja Matic was both. Matic was completing a two-match ban for his sending off against Burnley but would not have been fit to play after an injury in celebrating the League Cup win. He had changed from his club suit to full playing kit for the trophy presentation at Wembley before twisting an ankle, but the midfielder will be fit for next week’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris St Germain. “Matic is injured and he got an injury celebrating the cup,” Mourinho added. “It’s not a big injury, but if today he was not suspended, he wouldn’t play. “He twisted his ankle. On the pitch. He put on shinpads but he didn’t put the tape on. He will play against Paris. On Saturday, Sunday, he will train.” Allardyce, who lost defender Winston Reid to a hamstring injury, rued the fact his side’s run is now one win in 11 league games. “I thought that we gave a fantastic performance today,” he said. “We really wanted something out of the game. We got a great performance and we’ve got to take a lot of positives out of that. “Couldn’t have asked for any more entertainment, everybody, I don’t think. Terrific game of football. “Just we’re the wrong side of the result, sadly. Keep playing like that and we’ll start winning again.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Injured McNamara ‘in good spirits’

first_img The jockey was due to partner last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, but suffered multiple injuries when coming to grief in a fall from Bursledon four out in the first division of the Cahore Point Handicap Hurdle. “He was very stable overnight and in very good spirits. He doesn’t want to say any more at this stage and you can understand that,” said Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical officer for the Irish Turf Club. Robbie McNamara was described as being in “very good spirits” in hospital in Dublin on Sunday as he recovers from serious injuries suffered in a fall at Wexford on Friday. Press Associationcenter_img “It was serious chest, abdominal and spinal injuries. The spinal injuries have been operated on and that’s stabilized. The next phase is recuperation and we’ll take it from there.” Speaking on At The Races, McGoldrick paid tribute to the medical care McNamara received in the immediate aftermath of his fall. He said: “In Wexford he got fantastic care on the track, and in the casualty department Mr Ken Mealy, the surgeon there, was fantastic. They saved his life, being very honest. “He was then transferred to the Mater (in Dublin) and he was taken care of very well, had successful surgery yesterday and we go forward from there. “We are in the initial stages of his post-operative recovery, so it’s much too early to be giving a prognosis as to the future, but he’s come through surgery well and we’re very happy with how he’s doing.” McGoldrick added that Davy Condon, who was taken to hospital with concussion following the National after a fall from Portrait King, was set to return home on Monday. last_img read more

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Cuadrado agent cools move talk

first_img The 27-year-old joined Chelsea in February from Fiorentina but made just four Premier League starts for the Blues. Cuadrado, who has four years left on his contract, is a reported target of Italian champions Juventus and Spanish side Valencia this summer but his agent has denied transfer speculation. Press Association “Much to my amazement, I read in some English and Italian newspapers about imaginary figures and agents associated with Cuadrado, so I think it is right to clarify the situation,” Cuadrado’s agent Alessandro Lucci said to Italian website www.tuttomercatoweb.com. “Cuadrado is a Chelsea player, who (Jose) Mourinho strongly wanted just over five months ago and the coach truly believes in him. “He has many admirers but I reiterate that Juan is a Chelsea player. “I, as his agent and intermediary, will decide with Juan his future, nobody else will.” Cuadrado, who last month competed at the Copa America in Chile with his national team, will be hoping to earn more regular playing time in his first full season with the Premier League champions. The South American came off the bench eight times in 12 Premier League appearances and has yet to score since moving to England in a £23.3 million transfer from Italian side Fiorentina. center_img Juan Cuadrado’s agent insists his client is set to remain at Chelsea next season despite speculation linking the Colombian winger with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer. last_img read more

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Diamonds ready to sparkle in Nassau

first_img Legatissimo will be in opposition once again, along with Prix de Diane victor Star Of Seville, and Richard Henry, part owner and breeder of Diamondsandrubies, knows it will be a tough test. He said: “Aidan tells me Diamondsandrubies has been in great form since her Pretty Polly Stakes success. “It looks a particularly strong renewal with a pair of Classic winners in the mix. Goodwood is a pretty unique track but we’re hopeful she’ll handle it.” Legatissimo’s trainer David Wachman is pleased enough with his filly’s condition but following some ill fortune on her latest start at the Curragh, he is hoping for a little luck this time. He said: “She seems well and we’re happy enough with her. If she can stay in one piece we’d have a chance, I hope.” Star Of Seville is one of three representatives for John Gosden, along with Bright Approach and Jazzi Top, with the Derby-winning trainer bidding for a fourth successive win in the race following The Fugue (2012), Winsili (2013) and Sultanina (2014). Star Of Seville finished well down the field in the Oaks at Epsom but bounced back to form when creating a minor surprise at Chantilly in the French equivalent. Jazzi Top was four places ahead of Star Of Seville on her latest start in the Oaks, while the four-year-old Bright Approach will be having her first outing since beating only one home in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot last year. The latter is the mount of Richard Hughes, who retires at the end of the meeting. Gosden said: “Star Of Seville obviously ran a great race in the Prix de Diane. We are aware this a high-quality race against some proper fillies, though. “This is Jazzi Top’s trip, as it is for Star Of Seville, and Jazzi will be a better filly than she was in the Oaks. She’s really strengthend up and could be in the shake-up. “Bright Approach has been off for a long time but she’s been working well. “I was keen to start her back on some nice ground and get her out there. I’m delighted Hughesie can ride her in what will be his last Group One.” Star Of Seville’s jockey Frankie Dettori said: ” We have got the trip right with Star Of Seville now. She is a mile-and-a-quarter filly as she showed in the Musidora and the Diane – the mile and a half of the Oaks was too far. “The Goodwood race is just what she wants.” Bright Approach is one of two older fillies in the race, with Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Cladocera also flying the flag for the four-year-old team. Cladocera was a dual Group Two winner at Meydan during the winter and was last seen finishing third behind Amazing Maria in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her trainer said: “Cladocera ran well to finish third at Royal Ascot and that form has been boosted by the winner going on to land the Falmouth Stakes. “She had three races in Dubai over the winter and we needed to give her time to recover when she got back home, so she needed the run at Ascot and should be able to improve on that form.” Cladocera won over nine furlongs but will be stepping up to a mile and a quarter for the first time in a race in which her handler finished second last year. Royer-Dupre added: “This will be her first run at a mile and a quarter. She is normally a miler but she did well in Dubai over nine furlongs so we have decided to try her over this longer trip. “Goodwood is a special track and I could not be sure how well she will handle it, but she is a very mature filly and an easy ride. “She is on the same level as Narniyn, who ran well to be second last year despite hitting the front too soon. “We have had to change her jockey as Christophe Soumillon has other commitments in France. But Antoine Hamelin knows her well and got some experience of the track when riding Jehannedarc to finish second in the Lillie Langtry Stakes for me three years ago.” Luca Cumani sends out Oaks third Lady Of Dubai, who claimed the Height Of Fashion Stakes at the track earlier in the campaign – a fact her handler counts as a big plus point. He said: “She was fine after her run in the Oaks. She is a course and distance winner at Goodwood which counts for a lot. “There were not many places we could go after the Oaks and we decided that we would bring her back from a mile and a half for her next race to go for this. “We will see how she gets on in the Nassau before deciding on the Yorkshire Oaks.” The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly scored a first victory at Group One level when holding 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo by a short head in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh last month. She had previously finished fourth in the Oaks at Epsom, two places behind Legatissimo, but she endured a troubled passage that day. Connections of Diamondsandrubies are expecting a stern examination when she lines up in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday. Press Associationlast_img read more

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West Brom youngster Adil Nabi joins Delhi Dynamos on loan

first_imgWest Brom youngster Adil Nabi has become the first Barclays Premier League contracted player to move to India on loan. Press Association “I didn’t really have to think about it for too long,” he said. “The idea appealed to me the moment it was proposed. I spoke to my parents and to people at the club and everyone thought it was an exciting idea. “I can’t wait. It is going to be an amazing experience. Some of the players who are now going to India are the biggest names in world football and working under a legend like Roberto Carlos is a chance not to be missed. “I have spoken to the gaffer (Tony Pulis) and he agrees that it can be a great development opportunity for me. To go out, away from all my home comforts, and experience life and different football. “I will be back at the end of the year when I hope I will have learned as a person and a footballer. My ambition is to still break into the Albion first team and this experience can help me do that.” Nabi is yet to play for West Brom and could make his ISL debut on October 4 when Delhi open their campaign in Goa and the season runs until December 20. Baggies head coach Pulis said: “It’s a great opportunity for Adil and we will follow his progress closely. “I’m a big supporter of a young man stepping out of his comfort zone and experiencing another part of the world.” center_img The 21-year-old has signed a three-month loan deal with Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos, who are managed by ex-Brazil and Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos. Striker Nabi will link up with John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda, who also play for the Dynamos, and will join them on a pre-season tour of Sweden. last_img read more

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Darren Fletcher: West Brom motivated by last year’s Villa Park memories

first_img Press Association Darren Fletcher insists West Brom are on a revenge mission ahead of a return to Aston Villa for the first time since their controversial FA Cup clash. Albion lost 2-0 in the FA Cup sixth round in March which sparked a pitch invasion from Villa fans while chairs were thrown on to home supporters from the away section. But Baggies boss Tony Pulis questioned the level of stewarding at the time, fearing for his players’ safety, and Villa, who apologised for the invasion, were fined £200,000 by the Football Association. center_img It came just four days after West Brom had lost 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League at Villa Park and Fletcher, who was cup-tied for the clash, wants the Baggies to exorcise their Villa Park demons. “It was a difficult week and things happened that shouldn’t happen on football pitches,” he said. “We’ve got to use that to motivate us to help us get the result. “I’m looking forward to it. I experienced it last year and was disappointed to lose a goal in the last minute. “Then there was the cup game which I wasn’t involved in. “The passion and the atmosphere was fantastic and it’s up to us to go and meet that challenge and give our fans something to shout about.” Albion have kept three straight clean sheets but have scored just three league goals this season. Fletcher admitted they need to improve in attack. “We need to work on the balance between not conceding but also being a threat,” he said. “W e have gone from losing the goals against Chelsea and Manchester City to not conceding and we’re now looking like less of a threat going forward.” last_img read more

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