Dolan concentrating on United
Martin O’Neill will not discuss deals with his out-of-contract
players until Sunderland’s Premier League fate this season is
Defenders Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon are in the final
months of their current agreements, and Bramble has consistently
said he would like to stay.
The centre-half is back in favour and has started 10 games in
succession, but with Sunderland in a fight for Premier League
survival his future will remain unclear until the summer.
O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo: “Now, at this minute, the most
important issue is trying to get points on the board.
“I know it’s a cliche, but those things can wait.”
Sunderland have taken just two points from a possible 18 and go
into this weekend’s game against Norwich just six points above the
O’Neill’s side face a daunting run of fixtures after Norwich as
they take on Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton either side of
a derby at Newcastle.
The match is being organised in conjunction with the club’s
proposed new owners the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, with all proceeds
going towards their community stake in Portsmouth, and will take
place at Fratton Park on Tuesday, April 16.
Defender Hreidarsson, 38, who made 123 appearances for Pompey,
is paying the expenses to bring his side to the south coast as part
of an eight-day tour of England ahead of the new Icelandic Premier
PST chairman Ashley Brown said: “We were delighted when Hermann
approached us with this idea. This is a fantastic opportunity for
fans to come and say farewell to a terrific club servant, but more
importantly contribute to the biggest community share yet.
“Every penny will be reinvested in the club as part of the PST’s
shareholding, so this means any fan can have their stake in Pompey
simply by buying a ticket for the match.
“More details of prices will be announced soon, but no standard
ticket will cost more than ?10, so we feel this is a great way to
make community ownership accessible to all.”
Hreidarsson, who has recently been in England to complete a
coaching course, added: “It is a great opportunity for my players
to play at a legendary ground and all the money will be going to a
“My time at Pompey was a rollercoaster ride, with some terrific
highs like winning the FA Cup in my first season and also some
difficult times, which saw some good people lose their jobs.
“All the time, though, the Pompey fans were different class and
I didn’t feel I got the chance to say goodbye to them properly
after I was left for Coventry in 2012.”
The 24-year-old South Africa international is hoping to be
included in Doncaster’s squad for Saturday’s home game with
Furman is currently in his fourth season at Boundary Park after
signing from Rangers in 2009 and has made over 120 appearances for
He began his career at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho then moved to
Ibrox in 2008 and had a loan spell at Bradford before signing a
three-year deal with the Latics in the summer of 2009.
Furman made his debut for his country in a friendly against
Brazil in September 2012 and earned the man-of-the-match award in
South Africa’s 2-0 win over Mozambique later the same year.
The club revealed he had agreed to continue his involvement with
the Dons as a non-executive director.
In a statement on the Aberdeen website, Brown said: “Having
reflected long and hard on the situation, I felt the time was right
for me to step down as manager.”
The 72-year-old took over at Pittodrie in December 2010 after
leaving Motherwell but he has struggled to achieve lasting success
at the club.
Brown, whose assistant Archie Knox will leave the club in the
summer, added regarding his decision to retire: “I feel it is
important this is out in the public domain as I do not want
anything to distract from the playing side over the next few
“Archie and I are determined to do whatever we can to help the
team finish 2012-13 on a high and we strongly believe we will be
leaving a solid base for the next management team to build on.”
Although he led Aberdeen to two semi-finals – they were also in
the League Cup semi-finals when he arrived – he could not secure a
top-six place in the Scottish Premier League last season after
taking them away from relegation trouble in his first campaign.
And the announcement comes after a goalless draw with Motherwell
on Saturday left Aberdeen in ninth place with three games left to
The Dons are two points behind sixth-placed Hibernian but face
Celtic at Parkhead on Saturday and look destined to finish in the
bottom six for a fourth consecutive season since Jimmy Calderwood
lost his job on the day he led the club into Europe.
Dolan, formerly the head of the Royals’ academy, was handed the
temporary reins after Brian McDermott was sacked on Monday.
McDermott’s three-year tenure was ended, along with his
assistant Nigel Gibbs, by Reading owner Anton Zingarevich following
a four-game losing run that has left the club above last-placed QPR
on goals scored only.
With nine games remaining there is little time to find a
replacement, with former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins and
ex-Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio installed as the early favourites
to take over.
Dolan fronted the media for the first time today and, as well as
refusing to be drawn on who might be tasked with leading the club’s
relegation fight, he also said he did not know if a new appointment
was likely to be made before the next trip to Arsenal on March
“It’s been a difficult week for everybody,” he said.
“The players were on the floor at the start of the week.
“The owner has asked me to take the team on Saturday. That’s my
only thought. That’s the honest answer.”
Dolan denied Zingarevich would play a part in picking the team
for this weekend’s trip to Old Trafford – albeit after a long pause
– adding: “Obviously not. He’s asked me to pick the team.
“He’s talked to me about the team and trying to get a result –
genuinely that is all he has said.
“I’m excited about going to Old Trafford. Really excited about
Dolan has been in regular contact with McDermott since he was
axed and revealed the former boss had a simple message for the
squad ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
“Brian is a great friend of mine. I’ve spoken to him each day,”
“He’s a great man. All he has said is: ‘Good luck, get a
“All he wants is for Reading to get a result.”
Zingarevich spent yesterday morning at the club’s Hogwood Park
training ground working with director of football Nick Hammond on
the recruitment process.
Following this weekend’s match the Russian owner will have the
grace of an international week to further develop a managerial
search he hopes will help avert an immediate return to the npower
Di Canio has expressed his desire to manage at the highest level
since his acrimonious departure from Swindon last month while
Adkins was unlucky to lose his job at Southampton earlier this
season after leading them back to the top flight.
Chelsea’s Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo has
also been mentioned as a possible target.
The Italian has been out of work since his unexpected axing at
Stamford Bridge in November.
Dolan’s only first-team managerial experience was during a brief
stint at Exeter, when they were outside the Football League, a
The 45-year-old is set make his return against Premier League’s
champions-in-waiting and, while he admitted his admiration for Sir
Alex Ferguson, said he would not be overawed.
“They’re the best football club in the world and the best
manager of all time,” he said.
“But I won’t be thinking about that tomorrow.
“We need to get a result. I think Reading Football Club deserves
to be in the Premier League.”
Asked if he would be able to pick his players up following
McDermott’s exit, he added: “This group are a great group of
players. I’ve trained them in the past few days.
“You are not going to get a better group.
“They are just great people. They respected Brian. It has been a
natural human emotion that they were disappointed after he
“We need to get a result.”