Bury v Blades clash switched

Swansea captain Ashley Williams is confident the club can keep

hold of their best players despite attracting interest from

elsewhere.

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

Liberty Stadium.

“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

Sports.

“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

this term.

“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

team.

“All the lads here are good lads and we get on well and I think

the team spirit we have helps us.”

No targets

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

season.

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

league.

“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

really.”

Interview courtesy of New Era Global Sports

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

Parade.

The decision is subject to an appeal, which if unsuccessful

would see Brentford progress to the third round to play Bury or

Southend.

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

competition.

“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

acquisitions.

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

Rochdale.

“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

well.”

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

kick-off.