Lennon expecting McLean offers
Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway has laid into the press for
suggesting that Wilfried Zaha could be on his way to Arsenal.
With the January transfer window looming, the 20-year-old
striker was recently linked with the Gunners.
But when a journalist asked Holloway on Friday about reports of
his possible departure from Selhurst Park, Holloway was having none
He said: “I’m fed up talking about Wilf. We have some great
“Why not talk about Andre Moritz or Mile Jedinak or Yannick
“Wilf’s our player, he’s on a four and half year contract and it
would take a lot more than one player to de-rail us.
“We have many good players. It’s all because he was called up by
The Eagles are currently second in the Championship table and
Holloway added: “I thought it was unprofessional of Arsenal to
“I like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He would help our promotion
push. And what about Theo Walcott, he’s out of contract at the end
of this season.
“I bet you wouldn’t start the speculation that way around.”
Gerrard became only the sixth England player to reach 100 caps
in Sweden last month and was regarded as one of the stand-out
performers at Euro 2012, when Roy Hodgson’s team were knocked out
in the quarter-finals by Italy.
The 32-year-old won the award in 2007, and has finished in the
top three on three other occasions, highlighting his consistency
over an international career that now extends over 12 years.
Gerrard is joined on the list by Liverpool team-mate Glen
Johnson and also Joe Hart and Ashley Cole, who won it in 2010.
In addition, Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck is also amongst
the nominees after emerging as top scorer in 2012 with five
Supporters can vote for their choice on www.thefa.com, with the
winner due to be confirmed at an awards’ dinner at St George’s Park
on Sunday, February 3.
The Perth side face Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup on Monday
night after the fourth-round match was rearranged following a
While the full focus for 90 minutes will be on getting three SPL
points, Davidson accepts St Johnstone will have to begin preparing
for the cup tie as the final whistle blows.
Despite the fifth round being almost two months away, cup rules
mean the game is to be played on Monday after a second
postponement, and Cowdenbeath have been handed a possible advantage
after their Irn-Bru First Division clash with Partick Thistle was
Davidson said: “It’s not ideal. It’s probably the first time in
my career that I’ve done it.
“I know myself, and a lot of the boys – on the Sunday you feel
okay and the Sunday comes and you feel a lot more stiff.
“So as soon as the game finishes on Saturday, more than any
other game, we have got to make sure we are doing the right things
to get ready for Monday. Ice baths, eating right, drinking right,
getting everything back in your body to make sure you are as close
to 100 per cent as you can be.
“There is nothing we can do about it and we have to make sure we
are as best prepared as we can be.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Wednesday – you have got
to prepare right, but obviously being Monday it’s going to be
“There has to be a reason for it being Monday – I’m not sure
why. You have got to just accept it.”
Manager Steve Lomas added: “It’s a strange one. I have never
heard anything like that before.
“You would have thought Tuesday night would have been ideal, but
I don’t know what the rules are.
“It does seem strange when you have got a free week that you put
it on the Monday, 48 hours after a game.
“It will be a challenge, two away games, and Arbroath did
brilliantly at Celtic Park so they will fancy their chances of
causing an upset.
“It’s a tough couple of days but it could be a good couple of
days with two wins.”
St Johnstone will face another trip to Paisley in the fifth
round if they beat Cowdenbeath and Lomas expects to face a St
Mirren side desperate to continue moving forward following a
six-game losing streak. Danny Lennon’s team are now unbeaten in
Lomas said: “They are probably looking at it like us. After the
first five games we probably thought we should be sitting on eight
points rather than the two we had.
“That’s football. It all boils down to the two different ends of
“Can you keep them out and can you take your chances when you
get them? They are the small margins.”
Now the skipper wants to see the Highlanders go a step further
by taking maximum points when the two sides meet again
County earned a credible goalless draw in their first ever SPL
fixture when they played host to the Steelmen in August.
Brittain said: “There was a lot of emotion going into that game,
a lot of nerves.
“It was our first game in the SPL but I thought we stood up to
the task very well against a side who were still in Europe at that
“We knew ourselves that we could handle life in the SPL.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s very difficult in the SPL and results
are hard to pick up, but I thought that game made a few people sit
up and realise that we’re not just here to make up the numbers.
“We held our heads up after that game and hopefully we can do
the same on Saturday.
“It’s the return fixture at their place and hopefully we can
play to the same standards and possibly come away with something
from the game.”
Tomorrow’s long trip south sees County make their first visit to
The midfielder added: “It’s a game we’re looking forward to.
It’s a new venue for us and one the boys will hopefully enjoy.
“Hopefully we’ll put on a good show and get the three
Brittain was on the scoresheet as the Dingwall outfit fought
back from behind to earn a draw with high-flying local rivals
Inverness in last week’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie.
He said: “We’ve got to take the positives from that game.
“We scored three goals, played really well and showed grit and
determination to hang on when we went a goal down.
“Not many teams come back from a goal down against Caley this
season, that’s why they’re up there are the top end of the table
and rightly so.
“They deserve to be there but we’ve got to focus on ourselves
and keep taking the positives from the games and we’ll continue to
A solitary victory has left the Royals second from bottom in the
table and they face a critical relegation showdown with 18th-placed
Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.
McDermott admits he fails at any attempt to divert his attention
away from planning Reading’s escape from relegation, but the
51-year-old believes the challenge facing him has honed his
“I play the guitar now and then and read books, but I’m always
thinking about the next training session, player I need to talk to,
our next game. It’s all about football and where we have got to get
to,” he said.
“I’m a better manager this season than I was last season.
Results wouldn’t suggest that, but I think I will be a better
manager for this experience.
“I’ve learnt that I’m very resilient and the only way to deal
with a situation is to look at the present, not the future nor the
“In the last two years I’ve had to deal with the play-off final
defeat and success of winning the Championship.
“In it’s own way they have their own difficulties and that’s a
funny thing to say, but there are interesting dynamics with both of
Reading’s precarious position has left McDermott fourth in the
Premier League sack race, despite spending little money on
strengthening his squad during the summer.
A 2-1 victory over Everton in mid-November raised hopes of a
change in fortunes at Madejski Stadium, but three successive
defeats heading into this month’s hectic schedule has restored the
McDermott has embraced the most difficult period of his
managerial career, but suggests that Reading are perhaps being
judged too harshly as speculation over his future mounts.
“As a manager I’m working hard to get the solutions and this is
where you earn your money,” he said.
“This is where you find out about everybody and everything and,
believe it or not, I’m relishing it. Would I say I’m having a great
“It’s an experience I’ve not really had before because we have
had nothing but success.
“Is this success for Reading right now? Doing what we are doing
with what we have spent – that is a discussion you could have.
“I knew the questions I’m being asked would come, they’re
obvious when you haven’t won for three games. It’s 2012, it’s where
A run of eight points from five games has eased the pressure on
Saints manager Nigel Adkins, dropping him beneath his friend
McDermott his the sack race.
“I know Nigel really well. He’s done a fantastic job over a
period of time, performing miracles to get them into this division
with two promotions in two years,” McDermott said.
“I have nothing but admiration for Nigel, he’s a terrific
manager. They’ve invested a lot of money in the summer so they’ve
The Brazilian limped off during Saturday’s win at Reading.
It came at the end of an impressive recent period for the former
FC Porto star, who has brought added energy to Red Devils’
However, after a succession of major injuries, Anderson has now
picked up another one that will keep him out for the remainder of
“It is a hamstring,” Ferguson told MUTV.
“It will be three or four weeks. It is not serious but it is a
Davis succeeded club legend Dario Gradi in the Gresty Road
hotseat last November and led Alex to League Two play-off final
glory over Cheltenham, crowning a phenomenal 19-match unbeaten
The Railwaymen lie 14th in the third tier ahead of this
weekend’s trip to Preston and Davis has only presided over 13
defeats in his 58 games at the helm.
His impressive work led to links with the recent managerial
vacancy at former club Burnley, but the 47-year old has now
committed his future to the Railwaymen.
Despite reports suggesting an 18-month rolling contract, Crewe
did not confirm the length of Davis’ new deal when announcing the
news on their official website on Friday evening.
Rangers fans groups immediately called for a boycott of the
Tannadice fixture after the fifth round draw was made.
Ibrox chief executive Charles Green subsequently confirmed the
club would not be taking their allocation for what will be the
first match away to SPL opposition since Rangers were relaunched as
a new company and denied entry to the SPL.
McCoist admits a lack of travelling support for the clash will
not be ideal, but respects the opinions of the vast majority of
supporters on the issue.
He said: “It goes without saying that we are enjoying arguably
our greatest support in terms of numbers and backing in many years
so it’s not an ideal situation that we won’t have any Rangers fans
in the stadium.
“But the club have taken this stance and it’s one that I fully
support as well.
“There are pros and cons in all the arguments and I can see all
sides of the arguments.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of the heads of our supporters groups
for the opinion of their members and they have told me
overwhelmingly that the vast majority – nearly unanimous – didn’t
want to take tickets for the game.
“I value their opinion very highly and I respect their
“We all want to move on but, at the same time, I can understand
the stance taken by the supporters. I back them 100%.”
A number of top-flight clubs took into account the views of
their own supporters when they voted to reject newco Rangers’
application for entry to the SPL in the summer.
McCoist added: “When we were voted out of the league, a lot of
the chairmen and club representatives told us that they were
listening to their fans, which is totally understandable and
“With this stance, we’ve decided to do the same.
“I would also say we should tread carefully down that road
because it’s not to say that the fans are going to be 100% right
all the time.
“But I certainly believe they should have a voice and it should
be listened to and appreciated.”
Some Rangers fans believe United chairman Stephen Thompson was
an influential figure in their SPL bid being rejected, before the
club was voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division.
Asked if fans would favour a similar boycott of future away
fixtures against other SPL opposition, McCoist said: “I genuinely
“I can’t answer that question because I don’t know what the
opinions of the fans are regarding other SPL clubs.
“What I do know is that they feel quite vociferous and vocal in
their support of not taking an allocation at all for this
Rangers will celebrate the club’s 140th year at Ibrox tomorrow
and McCoist stressed the importance of marking the occasion with
three points against Stirling Albion, who inflicted their only
league defeat so far this season.
He said: “There are a lot of top quality Rangers boys coming
back to enjoy the game. I really hope it’s a fantastic
“The most important thing from our point of view is that we can
add to it being a fantastic occasion if we do the business.
“We must keep our focus for the game.”
The highly-rated Scotland under-21 midfielder has been linked
with Burnley and Wolves among others, and he underlined his promise
last week with the opening goal in Saints’ 2-0 Scottish Cup
fourth-round win over Brechin.
Ahead of the home SPL clash with St Johnstone, Lennon admitted
that he is getting ready for official interest in the 20-year-old
to soon be registered.
“I am bracing myself to be fair,” he said.
“I haven’t spoken to Kenny but the best thing that he can do is
to keep doing his talking on the pitch and what will come for him
will come, there is no doubt about that.
“We haven’t had direct or official interest but it is no secret,
you see scouts at every home game.
“But I welcome anyone to come and see what we are doing at our
football club, it is a sign that we are heading in the right
“Sometimes it is out of your control but as long as we are
getting the best out of him every time he puts on a black and white
jersey then he is doing his job.”
With one eye on the upcoming transfer window, Lennon is taking a
look at Sporting Kansas City’s 22-year-old English-born forward,
Dom Dwyer, with a view to signing him on a short-term loan
He said: “I became aware of Dom through an agent. Kansas City’s
season is over and there are one or two of the MLS players trying
to get over (to Britain).
“It has been on the back burner for a month to six weeks but Dom
is over now.
“It would only be a short term one for us so we will have to
wait and see but the reports we have had on him are positive.”
Meanwhile, Jon Robertson revealed he silenced his dad last week
by scoring his first goal since signing for the Buddies in the
The former Cowdenbeath midfielder, 23, followed up McLean’s
opener with a glorious strike from 35 yards to seal St Mirren’s
place in the next round and now he is looking to add more.
He said: “I get dog’s abuse, especially from my old man Keith,
for not shooting and the gaffer has been saying that I should
gamble a bit more. I always look for the extra pass.
“My dad is my biggest fan though and he was fair chuffed with
the goal and after last week, if I don’t take on shots now, I never
“It was a special goal but if my next one is a sclaff from two
yards then I will take it.
“As it was coming I was thinking hit it, hit it, hit it, but
when you look at it over you think you should take a touch and have
a shot but sometimes things like that happen.
“I just want to push on from there and show why the gaffer
brought me here.”