Coventry hearing next week
El-Hadji Ba has welcomed reported interest from Sunderland,
Wigan and Newcastle and says he would love to play in the Premier
Prior to making his debut with Le Havre in February last year,
the France U20 international was linked with a move to
The defensive midfielder is now understood to be attracting
interest from numerous clubs, and is regarded by some as the best
prospect to come out of the Le Havre academy since Paul Pogba.
Pogba, who moved to Juventus from Manchester United and recently
received a call up to the France squad, has provided inspiration to
Ba as he looks to take his own career to the next level.
“He is definitely the one for me to follow in his footsteps at
the moment,” Ba said.
“Pogba is doing very well and I am happy for him to be playing
for one of the top teams in the world in Juventus.
“I want to improve, and it is very good to hear that clubs have
been scouting me.
“I would love to play in England one day. If teams have a good
enough offer, then they (Le Havre) will let me go.”
Sheffield United striker Jamie Murphy has been ruled out of
Saturday’s home game through injury.
Murphy was forced out of last week’s heavy defeat at Stevenage
and is struggling with back and hamstring problems.
Teenager Callum McFadzean replaced Murphy and could be in line
for his first league start for the Blades, but on-loan pair
Jonathan Forte and Dominic Poleon provide manager Danny Wilson with
Wilson has no other new injury or suspension worries, but could
be tempted to make one or two changes.
Defender Danny Higginbotham and forward Chris Porter, back from
his loan spell at Shrewsbury, are pushing for recalls.
Teenage striker Diego De Girolamo and defender Lecsinel
Jean-Francois have both had surgery to repair cruciate ligament
damage and will miss the rest of the season.
The Blades are hoping to climb back into an automatic promotion
spot with victory over the second-placed Bees.
Kevin O’Connor and Farid El Alagui are close to returning to the
Brentford squad ahead of the trip to their promotion rivals.
The duo have been sidelined since early in the season but made
their comebacks for the reserves this week.
Club captain and long-serving midfielder O’Connor suffered an
ankle injury in November and striker El Alagui has been out with a
knee injury since October.
But both came through an hour of action on Monday afternoon, so
boss Uwe Rosler must decide whether to take them to Bramall Lane or
give them another reserve run-out first.
Defender Scott Barron (hip) and back-up goalkeeper Richard Lee
(shoulder) have undergone operations and will be out for the rest
of the season.
The Sky Blues are three points off the play-off places with
seven games left and travel to Fratton Park to face a Pompey side
who are eight points adrift of safety, but have lost just one of
their last five games.
And Pressley knows his side will have to be at their best to
keep their top-six hopes alive.
“It is always difficult playing sides who are fighting for their
lives as they have so much to play for,” he told the club’s
“They will be determined to get the win and we need to be
bringing our best game to Fratton Park this weekend.
“They are similar to Hartlepool in that sense and we saw how
difficult that game was, so we need the same commitment again.
“Every single day here we train to win, and I will be expecting
that mentality to come through on the pitch this weekend.
“We need to be able to keep the momentum up and with us just
three points outside the play-offs, there is everything to play
“I want to create a real winning culture at this football club
and you only achieve that by setting standards and then maintaining
Sir Alex Ferguson has also been fined ?8,500 for non-fulfilment
of media obligations after the same match
European football’s governing body UEFA confirmed the sanctions
on Friday afternoon following a meeting of its control and
“Manchester United FC midfield player Nani has been suspended
for one match by UEFA’s Control and Disciplinary Body, following
the red card he received at the UEFA Champions League round of 16
second leg against Real Madrid CF at Old Trafford on 5 March,” a
UEFA statement read.
“Manchester United head coach Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined
?10,000 for non-fulfilment of the post-match media obligations at
the same match.”
Nani would have been banned for one match regardless as a result
of his red card for a tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa during United’s 2-1
defeat which saw them exit the competition.
However, the disciplinary panel decided there were no
exceptional circumstances which warranted an increase.
The fine handed out to Ferguson is effectively a slap on the
wrist after the Scot failed to attend the mandatory post-match
His place was taken by assistant Mike Phelan who said Ferguson
was too “distraught” to face the media.
Ferguson was furious about Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir’s
decision to show a red card which he felt swung the tie in Real’s
More severe penalties could have included a touchline ban but
UEFA did not deem it a serious enough offence to implement
The former Portsmouth midfielder, who brought global attention
to the issue of racism in football after leading his fellow Milan
players off the pitch during a friendly in Italy after being
abused, has been appointed to FIFA’s new anti-discrimination task
Ghana international Boateng said there should be zero tolerance
Asked if he would walk off again if abused, he told CNN World
Sport: “I think we should not accept and tolerate it anywhere, in
any game. Even if it’s a World Cup final, if it’s a Champions
“For me, honestly, I would do it even in the Champions League
final. If I feel it is racial abuse, I would do it even in the
Champions League final.
“Of course it’s a different situation – there’s a lot of money
involved and if my team-mates would follow me, I don’t know because
it’s a totally different situation. But for my part, I would do
exactly the same.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was delighted that Boateng
has agreed to join the task force and stressed the need for tougher
sanctions for racism.
“I’ve said before, empty stadiums or imposing fines is
inadequate. Sanctions have to be severe – points deductions or
disqualification,” he said on Twitter.
“FIFA needs strong personalities like Kevin-Prince Boateng to
bring experience and credibility. I invited him to be part of
FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force and I’m delighted that he
The 19-year-old midfielder, who signed a three-year deal with
the Eagles in the summer, has made nine appearances for the
Selhurst Park club but has not featured for the first team since
De Silva will not be available for the Bees’ clash against
Cheltenham but could make his debut against Dagenham on Good
Arena Coventry said earlier this month that it was owed more
than ?1.3million and planned to ask a High Court judge to place the
club into administration.
Lawyers representing Arena Coventry appeared at the High Court
in London on Friday to outline the latest state of play.
They said Arena Coventry bosses had been concerned by a
statement made by the club earlier this week – and needed more time
to consider their position.
A judge adjourned the hearing until Tuesday.
In the statement, a Coventry spokesman had said that a
“non-operating subsidiary” of the club had been placed into
administration. He said the “football club itself” was not under
threat and would continue to “trade as normal”.
Eighth-placed Coventry on Saturday travel to bottom-of-the-table
Portsmouth – a club placed into administration more than a year