Hughes eyeing double capture
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 16:05:00
Defender Sylvain Distin has praised the management skills of David Moyes as he aims to lead Everton into Europe.
Former Manchester City and Portsmouth centre-half Distin believes the Scot has done wonders at Goodison Park, especially with the funds available to him.
The Toffees are currently sitting six points off fourth-placed Tottenham as the club harbour hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
Everton also face an FA Cup replay against Oldham next week as they look to reach the quarter-finals of the competition and a potential home tie against Wigan.
The Frenchman told France Football magazine: "When you see what he can achieve with the means he has, that is simply amazing."
Distin, 35, also held special praise for Harry Redknapp from their time together on the South Coast at Pompey.
"Wherever he has coached Redknapp has always had success which is not by chance," added Distin.
"On a tactical level he may not be a genius, but on a human management level he is capable of making you believe that you are the best player in the world.
"His words reassure and release you which makes you want to fight for that man."
Alex head into Wednesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Area Final second leg against Coventry with a 3-0 lead but Davis believes the fact the managerless Sky Blues have nothing to lose makes them a dangerous proposition.
"Coventry will come here and try and make things happen," he told the Railwaymen's official website. "They have to and they scored a very early goal at Bury on Saturday. They started well and we have to be ready for that.
"We have to get that balance right, when we don't over commit in numbers but can push on and attack when we need to.
"We will treat the game as normally as possible. It is important that we remain solid and keep our discipline on the pitch.
"If you keep 11 players on the pitch then you have a better chance of winning the game. We know anything can happen, they could score an early goal, so we have to prepare for every eventuality and we have."
Smith was sent off in the latter stages of Saturday's fifth-round tie at stadium:mk for leading with an arm in a challenge on Rory Delap.
The 32-year-old's ban was increased from three to four games because it was his second dismissal of the season.
Dons boss Karl Robinson said after the game that he would be appealing against the decision.
However, in a statement, the Milton Keynes club said unsuccessful attempts earlier this season to have red cards shown to Stephen Gleeson and Antony Kay overturned had convinced Robinson to not lodge an appeal.
"While the manager does not agree with the red card, following unsuccessful appeals to overturn red cards issued to Stephen Gleeson and Antony Kay earlier in the season, the decision was made not to enter the FA appeal process," the statement read.
Smith will miss the League One trips to Carlisle and Portsmouth as well as home fixtures against Preston and Doncaster.
MK Dons have had seven red cards this season - joint highest in the Football League along with Notts County.
Hearts first-team coach Gary Locke admits Driver's future is uncertain as the winger prepares to discuss a move to the Major League Soccer club.
The MLS transfer window is open ahead of the start of the season in the USA and 25-year-old could make an immediate move.
Locke told Hearts TV: "There's a possibility that Andrew could be leaving. We are still waiting to find out what the situation is.
"He has been a fantastic lad to work with but we are not 100% sure what's happening at the moment.
"If he stays, great, if he goes, we wish him all the best. But at this moment in time it's still pretty much up in the air."
Oldham-born Driver is out of contract in the summer and seemed certain to move on given the club's need to cut their wage budget.
The former England Under-21 international, who can still play for Scotland under the five-year schooling rule, has made more than 150 appearances for Hearts since coming through the youth ranks.
Hearts placed a ?4million price tag on Driver in summer 2009 when Burnley attempted to sign the player for a second successive summer, while Coventry and FC Twente were also linked with moves for the player.
But a series of injuries hampered his progress, although he has been fit without interruption for more than 12 months now, and Hearts will have to accept a much smaller fee from the Americans.
Hudson holds a UEFA A pro license, the highest coaching award in the game, and was appointed in the Middle East last March by former England Under-21 manager Peter Taylor, who was in charge of the senior team.
His performance for in his current role has attracted the attention of Latics, with chairman Simon Corney keen to interview Hudson.
The 31-year-old former West Ham trainee and the son of ex-England international Alan has first-team management experience at Blue Square Bet Premier Newport and has recently spent a month coaching under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
Oldham are looking for a new manager after Paul Dickov resigned earlier this month.
The League One strugglers are currently under the care of academy manager Tony Philliskirk, who masterminded a 2-2 FA Cup draw with Everton at the weekend.
Crewe boss Steve Davis will enjoy the luxury of a fully fit squad for the crucial cup tie.
Alex hold a 3-0 lead in the tie ahead of the Sky Blues' trip to Gresty Road and Davis has options at his disposal.
Harry Davis could return to the defence having been an unused substitute against Bournemouth last week following a toe injury, while fellow defender Matt Tootle is also in contention.
Byron Moore, Max Clayton and Ryan Colclough all came off the bench to help draw the Railwaymen level in the 2-1 defeat to the Cherries and the trio are pushing for places in attack, where Mathias Pogba is expected to start having missed the first-leg due to international duty with Guinea.
"We will have a look at things today and decide what we are going to do," Davies told Crewe's official website. "It is always nice to have everyone available and to have that choice.
"I can change the personnel around to suit our game plan and hopefully we can surprise Coventry with one or two things again."
Lee Carsley may well opt to keep faith with an unchanged side as Coventry aim to complete a remarkable turnaround at Crewe.
Caretaker boss Carsley on Saturday took charge of City's first game post the Mark Robins era and duly recorded a solid 2-0 victory at Bury.
With no new injury or suspension problems, Carsley is unlikely to see any reason to change a winning formula as the Sky Blues strive to overturn the 3-0 deficit from the first leg in front of what was a stunned packed house at the Ricoh Arena.
Full-back Carl Dickinson made his debut at Gigg Lane, with Blair Adams ruled out for another four weeks with his medial knee strain, and the Watford loanee is set to continue at the back.
Drogba, who helped Chelsea win the European title last season by scoring the winning penalty in the final shoot-out against Bayern Munich, joined Gala in January on a one-and-a-half year deal following an ill-fated spell at Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
If he does play, the 34-year-old striker looks set to link up with the Turkish side's other major transfer window signing - Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder.
Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim admitted the 2-1 win over Akhisar and Drogba opening his goalscoring account was the perfect preparation for the return to European action.
"It gave us a morale boost ahead of the Schalke game," Terim said.
"When he is fit, Drogba has the ability both to keep the ball for us up front and to lead the team.
"When you add Sneijder to that, we will perform much better. Both have integrated with the team very quickly."
Along with Drogba, Sneijder adds experience of European success to Galatasaray. He was part of the Inter Milan side who completed a Champions League, Serie A and Italian Cup treble in 2010.
Gala will face Bundesliga side Schalke, who have managed only one win in their last 12 games since they beat Olympiacos back in November.
Schalke midfielder Marco Hoger knows a tough test awaits his team in Istanbul, but while they respect Gala, they do not fear them.
Hoger told the club's official website: "Fear is always a bad advisor.
"Galatasaray has great players like Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder and some more. Respect is of course there but we fear no one."
However, Schalke look set to receive a boost as Dutch striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar looks likely to return after struggling with an eye injury in recent matches.
"We also have good players in our ranks," Hoger said.
"The fact that Huntelaar is fit again is important. In the current Champions League season, he has already achieved some great results.
"We all hope that he keeps it up in Istanbul."
Schalke will be without several other key players, with Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Atsuto Uchida, Ibrahim Afellay and Ciprian Marica all missing out.
Gala, meanwhile, will be without Tomas Ujfalusi and Johan Elmander due to injury but Emmanuel Eboue could return at right-back.
The midfielder made only his 12th start of the season in United's 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Reading but may be in line to face Madrid after Phil Jones suffered an ankle injury against the Royals.
The Brazilian said: "When I take two steps forward I seem to take three back.
"It is sad but I have to do my job. I need to play games and not to have any injuries.
"I have had some problems. But when I don't have these problems I know myquality. I know I can play."
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already ruled Jones out of Saturday's trip to QPR and the England international may also struggle to make the Champions League clash with Jose Mourinho's men on March 5.
Anderson, who has suffered a series of niggling injuries in recent years, hopes to keep himself in Ferguson's plans, although he accepts it is not easy when he misses so many games.
"It is difficult," he said. "Some players haven't played for two or three weeks and it is hard.
"But this is Manchester United. All the players want to play, me and others."
Wright has been sidelined with a knee injury since December, while Grandison last featured against Swindon last month when he sustained a hip problem.
"Mark Wright has his last injection of the course on today (Tuesday) and once that settles down he should be be joining in," said Turner on Shrewsbury's official website.
"Jermaine Grandison is starting his first straight line running now so he's well on his way to recovery."
The news is less encouraging for top scorer Jon Taylor who may miss Saturday's home match against Stevenage with the groin complaint that ruled him out of last Friday's televised win over Tranmere.
Turner added: "Jon Taylor's groin is keeping him out of training and it will be touch and go whether he's going to be fit for this coming weekend. There's got to be doubts about him."
Hill enjoyed his first full match since the 3-0 FA Cup win over Oxford at the start of January when the Blades under-21 side lost 3-1 to Leeds at Thorpe Arch on Monday.
After also being an unused substitute for the last three League One games, the 31-year-old is raring to go.
He told United's official website: "I will just train hard and make sure I am ready when called upon by the gaffer, it certainly helped getting a game under my belt for the U21s.
"I am delighted to see the lads winning and getting right back into contention, but it is always nicer when you are involved.
"It is only a good thing that the lads in possession of the shirt know they must perform to keep their position in the team.
"We have players on the bench and even those not in the matchday 18, who are itching to feature and contribute to all the success."
The Swans face League Two Bradford in the Capital One Cup final, less than 10 years after beating Hull on the final day of the 2002-03 season to retain their Football League status and stave off the threat of possible extinction.
Jenkins has been involved at every step of that recovery.
He came on board as part of the consortium brought together through the then newly-formed Swansea City Supporters' Trust, which managed to force unpopular Australia-based businessman Tony Petty out of the club in January of 2002.
Since then, Jenkins has overseen the club's rise up the league ladder and the switch from the Vetch Field to their current Liberty Stadium home.
He has proved himself particularly shrewd when it comes to the appointment of managers, bringing in the likes of Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers and current boss Michael Laudrup to ensure the club's attractive style of play is continued.
Jenkins has also kept a firm handle on club finances, and the debt-free Swans announced a record profit of ?14.6 million after their first top-flight season.
Supporters' Trust spokesperson Alan Lewis believes Jenkins has made the greatest contribution of those who have turned the club's fortunes around.
Lewis told Press Association Sport: "I am sure his fellow board members would say themselves that Huw deserves huge credit. Huw has probably put in as much time as anyone in getting the club to where we are now.
"He would admit himself that when the consortium got together he ended up as chairman as no-one wanted to do it, and none of them had ever run a football club, even though they were businessmen.
"It was a huge personal effort on his behalf and the club ethos he has put in place is one all the directors sign up to and he leads the way in that. His contribution has been as significant, if not more so, than anyone in this story.
"He has had to manage the profile of the club, which is as high as it has ever been, and make sure the future is a sustainable one whether the club had survived in the Premier League or not.
"It's quite incredible what has been achieved, you could not make it up frankly, and if you did no-one would believe you, it's ridiculous really."
Swansea's Supporters' Trust holds a 20 per cent stake in the club, and has been highlighted as an example for others to follow.
The Trust has a representative, Huw Cooze, on the club board, making Swansea the first side in the Premier League with an elected supporter serving as a director.
Their formation came during a period when the club was sold for ?1 twice in a matter of months in 2001. Firstly, commercial manager Mike Lewis bought the club from a London company called Ninth Floor, whose main business was making windows.
But the debts of ?800,000 proved unmanageable and Petty quickly took over, flying in from Brisbane and attempting to sack seven players and two coaches to cut costs.
"We formed in August 2001, and even before Petty came in the writing was on the wall," said Lewis.
"There was a company called Ninth Floor who were not interested in the club and there were huge debts. We needed to get our act together otherwise we would not have had a club to support.
"Supporters Direct got involved and helped us and it grew from there.
"We played a pretty big part in bringing the consortium together to save the club and we were one of the signatories on the consortium's deal.
"We initially needed ?50,000 for our shareholding contribution, and within 12 months we had put ?100,000 into the club and that increased as more shares became available to ?200,000, which gave us our current 20 per cent share."
Lewis added: "We have had contact with dozens of other supporters' trusts, but obviously we had a very specific set of circumstances at the time we were formed.
"There is no checklist you can follow as those dire circumstances in 2001 were what gave us the opportunity to get involved.
"But, if we are held up as an example to others then that is great. As a Trust and a club we never imagined we would be where we are and obviously if it can happen here, then why can't it happen for other clubs?"
The duo have been training with Pools since their recent release from St James' Park, with forward Knight scoring twice for the reserves last week.
"We'll try to do something with Dennis and Michael looking to the end of the season," Hughes told the Northern Echo.
"There's two months to go, so let's see if they can grab it by the horns a take a chance.
"We'll get to know their character and see what they can do.
"Both have done well in the past couple of weeks and they could maybe help us."