English League 2

De Silva out to impress

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Wed, 27 Mar 2013 16:25:00

Kyle De Silva is hoping he can impress Ian Holloway during his spell at Barnet on loan from Crystal Palace.

The teenage midfielder has not featured for Palace since Holloway took charge at Selhurst Park but is hoping first-team action for the Bees between now and the end of the campaign can improve his prospects with the npower Championship club.

De Silva must first help move Edgar Davids' side away from the relegation places, a challenge he is relishing.

He told Barnet's official website: "It is very hard to break in and make an impression when the team are flying. Hopefully I can do that whilst on loan.

"It will be great to get some first-team action and I am really looking forward to making an impact at Barnet.

"The team have picked up some good results lately so hopefully I can help keep that up. I am very grateful I have been given the opportunity to come here."

And Hendrie feels prosperous times could lie ahead if they stick with Paul Lambert - as long as a few more experienced players are added to the squad.

With eight Barclays Premier League fixtures left to play this term Villa are 17th in the table, three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan, who have a game in hand.

It has been a largely disappointing campaign for the midlands outfit following Lambert's appointment as manager last summer, but back-to-back wins over fellow strugglers Reading and QPR in the past two matches have boosted hopes - including those of Hendrie - that it will not end in relegation.

The 35-year-old, who made his Villa debut in 1995 and left the club in 2007, said: "They have done superbly in the last two games. Now it is about keeping that momentum running.

"They still have to play the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, where they will need to dig deep.

"Even if they are just getting draws along the way, if they can keep that unbeaten run going, I do fancy them to stay up."

Villa's team this season has not had a great deal of Premier League experience within it and has featured lots of players in their early 20s.

Hendrie, who came through the club's youth ranks, sees plenty to be encouraged by in the efforts of those players and views Lambert as the right man to lead Villa forward.

But thinking back to the kind of team-mates he had when he first came into the side, Hendrie does believe some older heads need to be introduced to the mix.

Hendrie said: "There are a lot of clubs chopping and changing managers, but (Villa chairman) Randy Lerner has stuck with him (Lambert), he knows he has got the youth there and I think it is just about making sure they stay up this year and then maybe getting a few experienced heads in, and I don't think there will be a problem there.

"This season it is vital that they stay up and then I would definitely still have him as manager.

"No disrespect to the young lads, but I think you do need a few older, more experienced players that have played in the Premier League and know how to win games.

"It is all a learning curve. When I was playing you had the likes of Steve Staunton, Ugo Ehiogu, Dwight Yorke.

"When you were 2-0 up in games, they would help reshape you, whereas when you are young you want to just keep going, running and chasing about."

Much has happened to Hendrie since the early days of his career, not least in financial terms.

Life as a well-paid top-flight footballer allowed him to build up a significant property portfolio, but he encountered problems and in January 2012 was declared bankrupt.

By that stage he had also made a considerable descent down the football ladder and was playing at non-league level.

The decline in his fortunes led to him attempting to take his own life.

"I wasn't thinking straight - I was just thinking it was probably the only way I could possibly finish it all," Hendrie said.

"I'm not proud of attempting it, but it had just got to that stage where I felt like I had let everyone down.

"But if it hadn't been for the decisions I made, and if I had got the right advice, I wouldn't have been in that situation."

Hendrie feels the management of players' money is a major problem, and regards the kind of work done by Birmingham-based charity Xpro - which provides support in various ways for former professional footballers, including an initiative announced last week to help reunite them with their unclaimed pensions - as vital.

Looking to the future, the one-time England international, currently playing for Blue Square Premier side Tamworth, hopes to make a difference himself in his role as the director of FootieBugs, a football-based activity scheme for children aged three to nine.

"This scheme I am doing covers a lot of areas, and I want to put all my time and effort into it," Hendrie said.

"I am finishing with Tamworth at the end of the season, and this is going to be my key thing for the rest of my life - I want to help young kids and get the point across about football, life skills, everything."

Welsh aspirations of securing a place at the 2014 World Cup were effectively ended by the 2-1 defeat to Croatia in Swansea, a result which leaves manager Coleman's side 10 points off the pace in Group A with only 12 up for grabs.

Wales have paid the price for a poor start to the campaign, having lost three of their first four games and, as with their Euro 2012 campaign, an improvement in form has come too late.

Coleman, whose current contract runs up to the 2014 finals in Brazil, recently admitted it had taken the 6-1 mauling in Serbia last September for him to come to terms with the task of succeeding Gary Speed following the death of his close friend.

Coleman had been loath to put his own stamp on the Wales set-up after vowing to continue Speed's legacy, but decided he had to start doing things his way to make the most of his time in the job.

Since then results and performances have improved, and the first-half performance against Croatia was the best of his reign to date.

Skipper Williams believes the recent upward trend means the Football Association of Wales should hand Coleman an extension to his contract, and says Wales are now producing the sort of form they showed towards the end of Speed's time in charge.

Williams said: "We definitely want him to stay, obviously I've been saying for a long time that he is doing a great job.

"He came in and took the job in unbelievably tough circumstances, but I think you can see it's getting back to where it was under Gary Speed.

"The last two camps with him have been brilliant, I think that's really pleasing and it would be stupid to change the manager, no one would say they want to see a change."

Swansea defender Williams, who Coleman installed as captain in October, believes a positive energy has been restored to Welsh football despite Tuesday's defeat.

And he has demanded a strong finish to the current campaign, in order to give Wales the best chance of reaching an expended Euro 2016.

Williams said: "Getting to Rio is probably over for us now, but third place is achievable and we've seen enough campaigns when we have finished lower than we've needed to and then paid for it in the next qualifier.

"It is important. We have a feelgood factor around the place on the back of the win over Scotland, we are all happy and confident and enjoy ourselves here; we want to finish the group strongly."

Wales had held a half-time through a Gareth Bale penalty in Swansea, before Dejan Lovren and Eduardo stole the points for Croatia.

But Wales should have been further ahead at the interval after Bale, in red-hot form for club and country, spooned a shot over the bar when clean through on goal.

It ultimately proved costly for the home side.

"It was an important moment, you can't say it was his fault or anything like that, but you'd bet your house on him to score and he put it over," said Williams, who will face Bale when Tottenham visit Swansea on Saturday.

"He's only human and he missed that. We didn't really create many more clear-cut chances after that, and it would have been better to go into the break two up."

Following defeat at Aston Villa before the international break, QPR stand seven points adrift of safety heading into the final eight games.

That deficit could be widened further by the time Harry Redknapp's men tackle west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage on Easter Monday.

However, Jordan insists that with the likes of Bobby Zamora and ?8million French forward Loic Remy, the Hoops - with seven goals in their past three matches - have what it takes to pull off what would be a remarkable escape.

"We have the players now that are capable of taking the game to the opposition," former Scotland star Jordan told the club website.

"Bobby is back fit, Remy is back in - we have a depth there now that we didn't have (before).

"When we arrived here we could only really play in a certain way, but that has changed now.

"We had to defend and play on the break, whereas now we can take the game to the opposition when it is needed.

"Performance-wise, we are improving all the time and there is a belief in the camp, because we are playing well.

"The performance (at Aston Villa) last week was excellent. Going forward that was the best we have played since we have got here.

"There are eight games ahead of us and there are games we think we can win.

"Harry has been in circumstances like this before and I have worked with him during those. Harry's teams have achieved what we are asking these players to go and achieve in these last eight games for QPR.

"The possibilities (of survival) are there - we have just got to make sure we don't create our own problems.

"If we can play the way that we have played recently we will score goals, we have just got to make sure those goals win us games."

QPR had plenty of the first-team squad away on World Cup qualifying duty, including defender Tal Ben Haim who played in Israel's 2-0 win over Northern Ireland in Belfast last night.

Redknapp, meanwhile, watched goalkeeper Julio Cesar play for Brazil in their international friendly draw with Russia at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.

QPR defender Fabio da Silva maintains the squad are focused on delivering the required performance at Craven Cottage to kick-start their survival bid.

Speaking to QPR Player, the 22-year-old on-loan Manchester United full-back said: "We have played well in the last few games, but the result against Aston Villa did not come.

"Now, though, we have to forget those results, they are history, and focus on the next one which is the most important.

"It (survival) is hard, but not impossible, we have to go from game to game.

"We must not think about the five games we have to win, we just have to get the three points in the next one, then look to the game after that.

"We 100 per cent believe we can stay in the Premier League."

Oakley, along with Liam Sercombe, Alan Gow and Tommy Doherty, is currently sidelined, with none of that quartet close to a return.

The Grecians have had to make do with virtually a whole midfield missing, although the loan acquisitions of Lawson D'Ath from Reading and Brighton's Anton Rodgers have boosted the ranks.

The former Leicester man's absence has been a huge blow for Paul Tisdale's side but he believes his side are well equipped to prevail in the face of adversity.

"It's our whole midfield and a hell of a thing for the club to overcome really," he told the Western Morning News. "It's four strong players in the team and all with long injuries.

"You can get by if you miss them for a few weeks but Alan has been out for a while now, Tommy is still a few weeks away and Liam is out for the whole season with me.

"It is unfortunate, but the team reacted well against Bradford. Hopefully we can just keep the momentum going."

After signing a one-year contract extension with Manchester United, Giggs will join that exclusive band next season.

So far, taking out the 10 goalkeepers who have done it, there are only two members, Gordon Strachan and Giggs' former Red Devils team-mate Teddy Sheringham.

Indeed, such are the fitness levels Giggs has managed to maintain throughout the latter stages of his career, no-one would be that surprised if he went on to fulfil the assessment Sir Alex Ferguson made yesterday by completing two more campaigns with the Old Trafford outfit.

However, the veteran Welshman believes advances in sports science make it easier for players to prolong their careers if they retain the desire to do it.

"There are two ways of looking at it," Giggs told MUTV.

"Players are getting a lot of money now. Do they want to play on to their late 30s?

"But there is the other side. With the involvement of sports science, players looking after themselves more - and the facilities are so much better.

"So if they want to, and if they have the desire, players can go on a lot longer than they used to."

His recent appearance against Real Madrid was Giggs' 1000th in senior football.

As the 39-year-old won 64 caps for Wales and also represented the Team GB at the Olympics on four occasions, he still has some work to do before he reaches four figures for United alone.

Yet even reaching his present mark seemed fanciful when he made his debut against Everton in 1991.

"As you enter your 30s, you are just trying to play for as long as you can and get as much out of the game as you can," he said.

"Luckily, I have managed to stay injury free and also had the continuity of the manager.

"I have looked after myself as well, but no-one could envisage getting to 1000 games."

The chances are Giggs will play in one, but not both, of United's two fixtures in 48 hours over the Easter weekend.

That he has not been away on international duty lends itself more to the belief he will be involved in Saturday's Premier League scrap at Sunderland, when the Red Devils, briefly, will look to open up an 18-point lead on Manchester City, rather than Monday's FA Cup quarter-final replay at Chelsea.

Giggs admits having two games in such close proximity is unusual.

However, with Chelsea retaining an interest in the Europa League, the alternatives were not immediately obvious.

"It is strange to have two important games in such a short space of time," he said.

"But I guess it was a question of trying to fit it in.

"The squad is looking good at the minute and hopefully after the international break everyone will have a fully fit squad and we will be able to handle two games in 48 hours."

Despite heading League One for much of the season, a run of seven defeats in 10 has seen Ronnie Moore's side slip down the table.

Sunday's 3-1 win over Stevenage dragged them back into the top six and Power believes they must start to look up the division again.

"We are all going on about staying in the top six but I don't think it's out of our reach to go up automatically," he told Wirral News.

"If we can be a bit more consistent, put a run together now, it's possible. Who is to say we could not go out and win the next six games? Anything can happen in this division.

"We're going into the next game against Sheffield United with great confidence. If we can get three points from that one we'll be right back in the mix for automatic promotion."

The teenage striker has not featured for Palace since Holloway took charge at Selhurst Park but is hoping first-team action for the Bees can improve his prospects with the Championship club.

De Silva must first help move Edgar Davids' side away from the relegation places, a challenge he is relishing.

He told the club's official website: "It is very hard to break in and make an impression when the team are flying. Hopefully I can do that whilst on loan.

"It will be great to get some first-team action and I am really looking forward to making an impact at Barnet.

"The team have picked up some good results lately so hopefully I can help keep that up. I am very grateful I have been given the opportunity to come here."

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