Scottish Premier League

Doyle has part to play for Hibs

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Thu, 04 Apr 2013 17:02:00

Coventry City have appealed against the 10-point deduction they were levied last week for going into administration.

The League One club was given seven days to exercise its' right of appeal and has chosen to do so in order to keep their slim hopes of a play-off place alive.

A High Court hearing in London last week ruled that the club had gone into administration, with their Ricoh Arena landlords - Arena Coventry Ltd - owed over a year's unpaid rent of ?1.3m.

City said they had placed a non-operating subsidiary of the club into administration and insisted it was business as usual at Coventry City Football Club (Holdings), which they said held the crucial 'golden share' that provides membership to the Football League.

A statement on the club's website read: "Coventry City Football Club (Holdings) Ltd has submitted an appeal to the Football League to have the 10 points deducted last week reinstated.

"The points were deducted following the administration of CCFC Ltd. The club will keep supporters informed of the progress of the appeal."

Westwood was booked during the closing stages of last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool for a challenge on Henderson but replays showed the former Crewe player may have been fortunate to escape a red card as he was showing his studs when connecting with the Reds midfielder.

Lambert, whose side visit Stoke on Saturday, said: "He's got the ball. I know what people are saying because of the way he's gone in but he has actually got the ball.

"If he had got the lad, then it's a different matter. You are not sitting telling me that Westwood is a dirty player.

"He's nowhere near that. He doesn't need to be dirty because he doesn't give the ball away."

Lambert also brushed off further speculation regarding the future of 18-goal striker Benteke, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham.

He said: "We get linked with everyone but I don't pay too much attention to speculation.

"We gave Christian the opportunity to go and perform and he has been excellent with the way he has performed and led the line. He has been excellent for us.

"What is he worth now? You'd have to have quite a lot of money to try and get him. In the modern day market, it can be whatever it wants."

Lambert has seen Southampton, QPR and Sunderland sack their respective managers in recent weeks but is unsure whether it provides Villa with any advantage in the battle for survival.

He said: "I think with football management now, nobody is sure what happens whether you get good results or bad results.

"You are just never quite sure what is going to happen. All of those managers have done great and yet they still end up losing their jobs.

"Will it help Villa? It is not something I sit and analyse. I just find it strange what happens to managers, especially when they get results.

"You just have to keep going and look after your own house as such."

Toure, who turns 30 in May, pledged his future to the Premier League side until 2017 in a deal which was confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

"This is where I want to be," Toure told the club's official website.

"When I first arrived at City, every time I went to sleep I would dream about us winning something.

"Now it is about us being the best team in whatever competition we take part in."

Toure joined City from Barcelona in July 2010 on a five-year deal which saw him link up with his older brother Kolo, who joined the club from Arsenal the previous year.

The midfielder, who has won the Champions League, two La Liga titles, a Premier League trophy, the FA Cup and Copa Del Rey during his career, revealed his decision to stay at City rests on his desire to claim more silverware.

"I want to continue winning titles and trophies and continue to make history," Toure said.

"I have enjoyed all of my time here and can't wait for the next chapter. This is an incredible club to be part of with fans that support a team to the end, whatever the circumstances.

"I will never forget how I have been treated here by the fans, the club and the owners and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to finish my career as a Manchester City player.

"Of course now it looks likely that we will not successfully defend the Premier League title and that is sad for all of us, but we can still finish second and win the FA Cup for a second time in three years and that is still an achievement for a club that won nothing for a long time.

"We must try to finish on a high note and then start preparing to win more next season. Football is always a challenge and always a puzzle to solve and that is why we all love the game.

"You have to use your skill, intelligence and strength to constantly improve and that is what we at City intend to do."

It is a twist of fate that Adkins' first home match in charge of Reading is against the club he guided from the bottom of League One into the Premier League before his sudden departure just over two months ago.

But Adkins insisted he does not have anything to prove to Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese, and he will treat Pochettino the same as any other visiting manager.

"We welcome the opposition management to the Madejski Stadium and, like every opposition team, we always invite them in for a drink afterwards, win, lose or draw," Adkins said.

"I think that is important.

"Situations happen in life and in football. I had a fantastic relationship with the supporters and everyone at Southampton but that has now gone.

"We had a fantastic journey there and that can never be taken away. We were with the players for two and a half years and we were very successful in that spell and we played some good football.

"The situation has happened and what we have to do is move on. You have to move forward. That is the reality.

"You can either dwell on the past or get on with things."

Instead of targeting a top-10 position, which is where he always believed Southampton were destined to finish, Adkins is now in the thick of a relegation battle with Reading.

"I think they will finish in the top 10," Adkins said.

"The players there are doing ever so well. We had a lot of belief in what we would achieve this season and that is being brought out.

"All the players at Southampton deserve a lot of credit. It is a joy watching them play."

But Adkins' priority on Saturday is to end a run of seven consecutive defeats with a victory he hopes will be the catalyst to a great escape act.

Reading are bottom of the table on goal difference from QPR and seven points from safety but Adkins said: "You won't be in our dressing room if you think it is a lost cause.

"The opposition are in a good vein of form but we are at home. These are the two teams that finished first and second in the Championship last season.

"There were some good games last season, it was a good game this year at St Mary's. We have to get the three points at the weekend. It is very close down there. We need to get some victories under our belt.

"You have to have a good home record. It is very important and there is an inner belief that we can win our (four games at home)."

Adkins expects a good reception from the Southampton supporters but he urged them to get behind their team and the Reading fans to do the same.

Adkins was credited with leaving an inspirational message for the Southampton players after his departure - but revealed on Thursday it was not written by him.

A picture of the message - which read: "Keep smiling. Have faith and belief that you are doing the right thing. Keep looking to improve" - was posted on Twitter. But Adkins said it was not left by him.

"It was in one of the coach's rooms during the course of the week. It wasn't out of my management room, it wasn't my writing," he said.

The 25-year-old Irishman was the Hibs manager's first signing in December 2011 but has rejected the offer of a contract extension to agree a move to the League Two club.

The Leith side need to beat Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday and hope other results go their way to clinch a top-six spot in the Scottish Premier League, before a Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk the following week.

And Fenlon will have no qualms about calling on Doyle's services in the final weeks if required.

"Eoin has agreed a contract (with Chesterfield)," he said.

"We offered him a contract five or six weeks ago and he turned it down.

"That's the decision he has made and we just have to get on with it.

"But he's very honest, when he gets on the pitch he works very hard for the team so I don't expect anything different from him."

Fenlon welcomes back defender Paul Hanlon from a hip injury and full-back Alan Maybury also returns from suspension.

The Irishman said: "Paul Hanlon is back training for the last couple of weeks so he has a chance of coming back into the team.

"Alan Maybury is back from suspension so we are okay with numbers."

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