Sheridan praises debutant Cox

Nottingham Forest have shown an interest in Stevenage’s head of
recruitment Leon Hunter, according to the npower League One

Reports emerged last week that Forest’s Kuwaiti owners, the
Al-Hasawi family, were weighing up a move to bring Hunter to the
City Ground as director of football.

Forest have a gap in their hierarchy after the Al-Hasawis
controversially sacked long-serving chief executive Mark Arthur and
dismissed Reds legend Frank Clark from his ambassadorial role last

Chief scout Keith Burt was also given the boot along with Arthur
and Clark.

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace told the Comet: “They (Forest)
are not the first club to show an interest in him and I doubt
they’ll be the last since he’s a talented young man with an
extensive knowledge of British and overseas players and agents.

“However, he’s loving the role at Stevenage and has a high level
of autonomy and responsibility so I don’t think it will be that
easy for him to be enticed away.

“However, as with professional players, if any individual
working in football has the chance to move to the highest level,
I’m sure he or she will do so.”

McGrath, club captain at Albion, has been unable to force his
way back into the Brewers’ starting line-up following a five-month
absence with a foot injury.

The 32-year-old will remain with the Minstermen until March 11
and is reunited with manager Gary Mills, who he played under at

Despite being allowed to leave the Pirelli Stadium, Burton boss
Gary Rowett insists McGrath remains part of his plans as the team
chase promotion from League Two.

He said: “I’ve done this reluctantly, in a way, because
characters like Macca are the sort of people I want around the

“I had hoped that I would be able to find him a place back in
the side before now but, since he had that bad injury, the form of
Lee Bell and Robbie Weir in the middle has been too good to

“I know John is desperate to play and, with him going to York,
he will now have a month of League Two football.

“I hope that means that we will get an even more match-fit Macca
coming back to us later in the season.”

The turmoil which surrounded the Govan club a year ago on
Thursday after it lapsed into administration, subsequently followed
by liquidation, led to an exodus of players.

The Northern Ireland midfielder, 28, moved last summer to
Southampton who reportedly paid Rangers ‘newco’ ?800,000 for

Davis explained his decision to leave his boyhood heroes while
leaving the door open to the possibility of going back at some
point in his career.

He told the Daily Record: “We were professional sportsmen and on
the day it was announced Rangers were going into administration it
was just a series of words to us until we absorbed the
ramifications of what had taken place.

“I had just signed a new, five-year contract with the club and
it had always been my intention to honour that agreement in full
and devote the largest part of my career to the team I considered
to be one of the biggest names in world football.

“I loved the club and the fans but I had to take a decision
which was best for me, my family and the remainder of my

“There was so much uncertainty, so I was delighted Southampton
made an offer that was acceptable and the club got money that they
needed to keep going.

“It was the toughest decision of my life when I left for another

“I gave the team 100% every time I went out on to the park for

“If everything goes to the plan I have in my head I’d like to
come back and play for the club again before my career ends.

“I know there are different opinions about the players who left
after administration but I still follow Rangers and they continue
to mean a lot to me.”

A 2-1 defeat at struggling Aston Villa on Sunday ensured it is
three months since West Ham last picked up three points away from
home and Sam Allardyce’s side have won only two of their last 11
Premier League games.

That run has seen the Hammers slip to 11th in the table and just
seven points outside the bottom three, sparking fears the club
could be dragged into the relegation battle.

However, with the squad heading to Dubai for a short training
break, Nolan believes West Ham are capable of gaining enough points
in the coming weeks to stay in the top flight.

“We’ve got to keep believing and keep putting in performances
like that,” Nolan told the club’s official website. “If we cut out
the errors we’ll be fine.

“If we keep producing the form we’re showing, and what I mean by
that is that the performance on Sunday was good, and keep producing
the amount of chances we’re making, I’m sure it’s going to turn for

“We’ve got two weeks between matches and when you lose a game
you want to get back out there as soon as possible. But it does
give us the chance to relax a bit this week and look at what we’ve
done this season and what we’ve got to do between now and the end
of the season.

“By the time the Tottenham game comes around we’ll be ready and
raring to go for a home local derby. We’ll be looking forward to

The Grecians have only conceded one goal from open play in 2013
and kept their second consecutive clean sheet in the 3-0 win at
Morecambe on Saturday.

Coles, along with central-defensive partner Pat Baldwin,
goalkeeper Artur Krysiak and left-back Craig Woodman, have barely
missed a game this season while Steve Tully and Kevin Amankwaah
have both had spells at right-back.

“It does help when you have consistency, it really makes a
difference to me,” Coles said. “Defensively as a team we are doing
all right. It is not just the back four, it has been the whole

“Woody has been a consistent figure, and there’s been myself and
Pat with the right-back position shared a bit. Kev Amankwaah has
come in for the last two games and he has been outstanding.

“Whichever right-back we have in we know we have a good
understanding among the back four with Artur behind us. Touch wood
we seem to be making less mistakes as well.”

The City squad have been unable to make the most of their Cat
& Fiddle training ground in recent weeks due to flooding and
the freezing temperatures, and Coles is glad the boggy pitches are
beginning to dry out.

“It has been really difficult for Tis and the team to sort out
sessions for us because everything is too wet and the astro can be
too hard,” he added.

“It is a bit of a pain but hopefully the worst weather is behind
us and we can have a little bit more consistency with

The 22-year-old midfielder had only made the loan move from
Swindon on Friday and was plunged into action for the Pilgrims
without having had a training session with his new team-mates.

“Coxy did well for his first game,” Sheridan told the Plymouth
Herald. “He just got on the bus with the lads.

“You can see he’s a bit short of match practice and he doesn’t
know many of the players but he was part of a good win.”

That match saw the experienced Paul Wotton start for the first
time under Sheridan and the Argyle boss knew exactly what the
35-year-old would bring to his line-up.

“He has been a good player and has got a lot of experience, and
the biggest thing for me is he talks,” he said.

“He gets a grip of people on the pitch because I think we are
quite a quiet team.

“That’s one thing I knew he would be – vocal – and help one or
two of the younger players.”