Bury v Blades clash switched
Swansea captain Ashley Williams is confident the club can keep
hold of their best players despite attracting interest from
Swansea’s impressive run of form has led to speculation
surrounding a number of their top stars, with summer signing Michu
thought to be in demand across Europe.
Williams is not worried about the prospect of the team being
raided by other clubs as he believes if Michael Laudrup’s side can
maintain their form all the players will be happy to stay at the
“I think as long as the team are doing well I don’t think we
will have any problem keeping our best players,” he told Sky
“I don’t think anyone is concerned about anyone leaving as we
are doing well and the players want to continue that.”
Williams has been impressed by Michu’s impact at Swansea, but
feels the whole squad deserve praise for their performances so far
“He [Michu] is a good player and we knew straight away when he
came on the pre-season tour to America, all the boys were saying
how good he was,” added Williams.
“All the boys that have come in this season have done well,
obviously he [Michu] is the one making the headlines and scoring
the goals, but I think everyone that has come in has contributed
and added to the team this year.
“Credit to the gaffer as he has brought in good players with
good mentalities and everyone’s knitted really well in the
“All the lads here are good lads and we get on well and I think
the team spirit we have helps us.”
Swansea are just three points off third-placed Chelsea ahead of
Saturday’s home clash with Norwich, but Williams is refusing to get
carried away at talk that Swansea could qualify for Europe next
The Wales captain insists the squad have not set any targets as
to where they could finish this season as they are only focused on
maintaining their climb up the league.
“It’s nice to be up there in seventh place, but I still count
downwards to see where the relegation places are before I count up
to the Champions League spots,” he said.
“That’s just natural as we want to make sure we stay in this
“We are enjoying it at the moment and it is nice for a lot of
the boys who have come up through the lower leagues to be sitting
seventh in the Premier League is a nice feeling.
“We have not set any targets. We did not set any targets last
season and we haven’t this season.
“We just wanted to build on what we did last season, which I
think we have done already, and try and finish as high as we can
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The Bantams did not receive written permission for Curtis Good,
on loan from Newcastle, to play in the competition by the 12pm
deadline on the day of the fixture, which ended 1-1 at Valley
The decision is subject to an appeal, which if unsuccessful
would see Brentford progress to the third round to play Bury or
An FA statement read: “The FA has confirmed that Bradford City
have been removed from The FA Cup with Budweiser 2012-13
competition after fielding an ineligible player in their Second
Round tie against Brentford.
“Bradford City did not have the necessary written permission for
Curtis Good to play in the competition, while on loan from
Newcastle United, by the 12pm deadline on Friday 30 November prior
to the fixture that evening.
“Bradford’s removal from the competition is subject to appeal,
but if this appeal is unsuccessful Brentford will go forward to the
Third Round and play either Bury or Southend United.”
Bradford admitted the error was “of an administrative technical
nature” and have apologised to their fans.
City were the only side left in three domestic cup competitions
and face Premier League giants Arsenal in the quarter finals of the
Capital One Cup on Tuesday December 11.
A Bradford statement read: “Bradford City Football Club were
charged by the FA of rule 15 (j) (i) on Monday 3 December 2012 in
relation to their FA Cup with Budweiser Second Round encounter with
Brentford on the 30 November 2012.
“The nature of the charge is the playing of one of our loan
players deemed ineligible due to the late submission for permission
for him to play. Bradford City Football Club is very sorry to have
to report such a matter and apologies to our fans.
“The error was of an administrative technical nature and not one
to intentionally break competition rules.
“We presented a case of mitigation to the FA on Thursday 6
December, however the FA panel chose to enforce the full powers of
its jurisdiction and have removed the club from the FA Cup
“We are clearly disappointed by this decision and cannot comment
further on this matter as the club is still actively conducting a
full investigation. The club has until 5:00pm today (Friday) to
lodge an appeal with the FA and we are currently reviewing our
position in relation to this.”
Plymouth boss Carl Fletcher could recall Darren Purse to face
York this weekend despite the news that the centre-back is set to
leave the club to make funds available for January
The former Cardiff man has missed the Pilgrims’ last three
matches after a red card against Fleetwood and Fletcher could
re-introduce the 35-year-old to his starting XI with Durrell Berry
suspended after his Johnstone’s Paint Trophy red card.
Since his last appearance, a decision was made to allow Purse to
leave Home Park to allow his manager to fund new signings but that
will not alter whether Fletcher selects the experienced player.
“[He] is a professional and you don’t keep playing at the age of
35 and play for loads of clubs if you have any kind of commitment
issues,” Fletcher told the club’s official website.
“That’s why he has played for so long at such a high level –
he’s got a drive and does things in the right way.
“We have got to make way to get people in and make sure there is
money available. It’s a case of making sure the books add up and
make sure they’re spot on because we don’t want to end up in the
situation we were in before.”
Alex MacDonald has returned to Burnley after the end of his
second loan spell in Devon.
York striker Alex Rodman will return to contention, but defender
Lanre Oyebanjo has been ruled out.
Rodman was sidelined due to a knock as City clinched their first
win in six league games at Rochdale last week, while Oyebanjo
sustained a hamstring injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly
against Scunthorpe in midweek.
Midfielder Michael Potts will retain his place after scoring
twice in an accomplished display on his league debut at
“He certainly did enough to keep his place, no doubt about
that,” manager Gary Mills told Press Association Sport. “It was a
great day for him last week. A few things have happened over the
last few weeks and we decided to give him his head.
“Two goals and an overall performance that will have done him
the world of good and he deserves a run in the side. He’s done very
Mills has no other new injury or suspension worries, but
midfielder John McReady (dislocated shoulder) has not recovered
full-match fitness and striker Michael Coulson (knee) is out for
the rest of the season.
The Gigg Lane clash was due to take place on Saturday, January 5
but had to be moved in light of the Blades’ progress to the third
round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Port Vale.
The Shakers will learn their own cup fate next week when they
travel to Roots Hall for a replay against Southend, with the winner
facing a home tie against Bradford or Brentford.
The rescheduled Sheffield United game will be a 7:45pm