Premier League

Bosingwa forgiven by Redknapp

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Mon, 25 Feb 2013 17:12:00

Leading scorer David Nugent is a doubt for Leicester ahead of Blackburn's visit to the King Power Stadium.

Nugent hurt his neck in a challenge with Blackpool defender Craig Cathcart during Saturday's goalless draw at Bloomfield Road and the 14-goal striker will undergo a late fitness test.

On-loan Tottenham striker Harry Kane impressed on his debut against the Tangerines and he could make his home bow for the Foxes on Tuesday.

Matty James missed out at the weekend with a knock and the midfielder looks like being absent once more.

Blackburn team news to follow...

Ahead of the game, Leicester boss Nigel Pearson told reporters: "Knowing (Blackburn manager) Michael Appleton as I do, he'll try and make his teams difficult to beat. I think that's what we all try to do in all honesty, but they've got some good experience within their ranks.

"We know it will be a tough game as they've had some good results of late, but as always my main interest is how we play ourselves.

"I know that if we play to our strengths we've got a very good chance of winning the game."

The profit was achieved effectively by the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United, allowing the reserves to rise by ?7million.

The figures are for the half year to the end of November 2012.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "Our ability to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe is underpinned by our financial performance which gives the club strength and independence.

"Our desire is to make everyone connected with Arsenal proud of the club. We know that comes through winning trophies but also through the way we do things and that will remain our constant guide."

The financial report states the that "profit on sale of player registrations amounted to ?42.5million" - down from ?63million in 2011 but still a cause of concern to those fans who believe Arsenal have not replaced players such as van Persie and before him Cesc Fabregas by those of similar quality.

Hill-Wood insisted however that was not the case.

He added in a statement: "Let me be quite clear that our intention is to keep our best players and recruit new talent to make us stronger.

"Although we were disappointed to see Robin van Persie leave the club, we have taken steps to secure our best players going forward and have recently signed Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson to new long-term contracts.

"During this financial period we also invested ?40.9million in the acquisition of new players, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud, and the extension of other player contracts. More recently we added Nacho Monreal to our ranks from Malaga."

Hill-Wood said that the Premier League club's agreement to bring in financial fair play-style spending controls would help Arsenal.

He said: "These new rules will be good for us, good for the Premier League and good for the game as a whole.

"It is important that we maintain the quality and level of competition if the game is to continue being a compelling spectacle and we believe the introduction of tighter financial regulation will assist all clubs to compete while remaining financially responsible."

Arsenal's football turnover dropped from ?113.5million to ?106million as a result of four fewer home fixtures compared to the same period last year. The report also confirmed an extended partnership with Emirates which will be worth up to ?150million.

Hill-Wood added: "The Emirates partnership is one of the biggest sponsorship deals in the game and is an endorsement of the commercial approach we are taking."

The 26-year-old, who bagged 25 goals for the Gills on loan from Norwich in 2010/11, returned to Priestfield at the end of January on an agreement until the end of the season in a bid to regain his scoring touch.

But City, short of firepower up front, have now taken the option to activate a recall clause after 28 days of McDonald's stay in Kent having watched him bag four goals in seven appearances for the League Two promotion chasers.

Gillingham boss Martin Allen told the club's official website: "We have just been contacted by Coventry and they have recalled Cody McDonald.

"I am sure that each and every one of us are very grateful for the way that Cody has conducted himself on and off the pitch.

"Off the field he has been a model professional. Hard-working, dedicated and committed to our club.

"On the field he has been honest, hungry and deadly."

Bernstein paid tribute to the support of the Bradford City fans despite the League Two side going down 5-0 to winners Swansea at Wembley in front of a crowd of 82,597.

He also congratulated the Swansea, for whom it was their first ever major trophy.

Bernstein said: "I had the pleasure of attending the Capital One final at Wembley Stadium yesterday.

"In the context of all we in football are trying to achieve in the area of respect and good behaviour it was an outstanding occasion.

"I would like to congratulate Swansea City FC on their support, fine performance and excellent victory and both clubs on the level of sportsmanship shown.

"In particular it was more than pleasing to witness the fantastic support of the Bradford City fans. Their backing for their team in adversity was a wonderful example of passion and loyalty combined with good humour. It was a pleasure to observe. Very well done to all concerned."

Redknapp picked Bosingwa for the first time since December 8 at the weekend, as QPR lost 2-0 to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester United.

The Champions League winner had been out of favour since before Christmas after he reportedly stormed out of Loftus Road following his axing for a home match with Fulham.

Bosingwa was fined two weeks' wages at the time and Redknapp continued to overlook the 30-year-old despite his side's struggles.

But in the wake of his return at the weekend, when Bosingwa was a starter, Redknapp confirmed he was now ready to move on as the Rs battle to beat the drop.

"Jose made a mistake, but it can't go on forever," Redknapp told QPR's website. "The issue is resolved. He was fined and we've all moved on from it.

"He's trained hard and is showing the right attitude again.

"There's no question he can play. He's good on the ball."

Redknapp revealed he had been convinced of Bosingwa's contrition following the trip to Swansea a fortnight ago.

"I took him with us to Swansea a couple of weeks ago and didn't even put him on the bench," he said.

"I did that to test his attitude and he was fine."

Despite Bosingwa's return, QPR remained seven points adrift of safety as goals from Rafael and Ryan Giggs ensured they went a sixth league game without success.

While Aston Villa's defeat at Arsenal meant QPR did not lose any ground on 17th place, defender Christopher Samba admits their survival hopes are becoming more unlikely with 11 games remaining.

"There is a big challenge ahead of us," he said. "Other results were good to us, we are still the same number of points behind like we were before the game.

"I do think there was an improvement in our game on Saturday but we need to get going.

"Everybody has written us off. This will take the pressure off us because nobody expects us to do this.

"We are going to go into the next matches, do our thing and if we can avoid relegation, it will be the greatest achievement."

Following Saturday's defeat, Redknapp admitted QPR's best hope of staying up rested with strike duo Loic Remy and Bobby Zamora.

Both have, however, struggled for fitness recently with Remy's only goal since his arrival last month coming inside 15 minutes of his debut at West Ham on January 19.

Since then, QPR have scored once in four league games - a Zamora consolation in the 4-1 loss at Swansea - and Samba believes they must start to create more in attack.

"We tried to get going but I think we need to create more goal-scoring opportunities for ourselves. That was lacking at the weekend," said Samba, who saw a header cleared off the line by United defender Rafael in the first half.

"I came close, but close is not good enough. We have to hit the target a bit more.

"I know what I can bring to the team on free-kicks and corners but I wish we could create more from open play. We had few shots on target."

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