Shots extend loan duo’s deals
Thomas Sorensen has admitted he does not want to sit on the
bench for the remainder of his Stoke City contract and is keeping
his future options open.
The former Denmark goalkeeper wants to play regularly but
accepts that he will have to be patient as the Potters are
performing well and Asmir Begovic has been a key figure between the
He believes Stoke know where he stands and he is prepared to
consider his future if he cannot break into the team.
“Right now, it is of course a frustrating situation for me.”
Sorensen told TV2 Sporten.
“The side is playing well and we are not conceding many goals.
Of course, that makes it very hard for me.
“I don’t want to sit on the bench the remaining time of my
contract, but I believe they know that.”
Sorensen, 36, has previously declared that he would like to play
on for another four years before retiring and has been linked with
a move back to Denmark.
“I don’t want to exclude anything, it depends what the eventual
offer looks like,” he added.
“In that situation, I also have to think about my family.”
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Pilley sprung a surprise move in sacking Micky Mellon following
the Cod Army’s 3-2 defeat to Aldershot in the FA Cup last weekend,
despite them lying in the League Two play-off places ahead of
Saturday’s match with fellow promotion-hopefuls Southend.
“No, not at all,” said Pilley when asked whether Alexander had
been set any goals upon penning a rolling contract at the Highbury
Stadium. “I want the football club to progress but I am realistic,
I live in the real world.
“He picks up a squad which is not his own. He’s got to establish
the abilities of the players, he’s got to stamp his own identity
onto the squad.
“Eventually, over time I have no doubt the squad will become the
Graham Alexander squad and, given time, I’m sure the club will
continue to progress and continue to be a success under
Pilley admitted he was happy to draw a line under a rare
unseemly chapter in Fleetwood’s meteoric rise from non-league
“It’s been hectic, it’s been stressful because I care greatly
about the football club,” he said.
“It’s been a time whereby we’ve had to do everything we can to
ensure we make the right decision.
“We’ve been incredibly busy – I’ve hardly seen my family, the
truth be known. I’ve not travelled anywhere, that’s just a
reflection of the hours we’ve put in.
“But we’re convinced we’ve made the right decision and we’re
looking forward to a really exciting future with Graham.
The Spaniard netted only his second goal of the season last
weekend to secure a win over Queen of the South in the Scottish
He has now set his sights on adding to that tally and admits a
goal against the Scottish champions would be “spectacular”.
But, having claimed maximum points against Celtic already this
season, Borja would be satisfied simply to record another win.
He said: “I have played eight or nine games now so I have more
confidence in myself.
“The last goal has given me more confidence and, if I play, I’m
hoping for a good game on Saturday.
“It would definitely be spectacular to score against Celtic.
“I want my team to win and, if I score, that’s even better.
“If I don’t score, I’ll still be happy for my team if they
The former Real Madrid youth player arrived at Rugby Park in the
summer, having spent his entire career until then in his native
The 30-year-old added: “I think I needed time to get used to
Scottish football and the style of life.
“I can say I’m settled into this life now. I’m ready now to do
my best and to play better.”
Celtic sealed their progression to the last 16 of the Champions
League thanks to a dramatic victory over Spartak Moscow on
And Borja believes the Hoops’ European success can only help
boost the image of Scottish football around the world.
He said: “The Champions League is the best tournament in Europe,
possibly the world.
“I’m impressed that Celtic are in the next stage of the
“It’s good for the Scottish league because the world now looks
at this league better than before.”
However, the forward will be more than happy for Kilmarnock to
take advantage of any tired legs within the Celtic ranks at Rugby
He added: “Hopefully they will be a little bit tired. We just
have to try to do our best.”
The Canaries have flown up the Premier League table since the
October international break, beating both Arsenal and Manchester
United at home as well as securing a place in the quarter-finals of
the Capital One Cup.
However, Hughton knows that impressive form will be put to a
severe test against Michael Laudrup’s side, who recorded a 2-0 away
win over Arsenal last weekend with a late brace from in-form
Spanish frontman Michu just a few days after beating high-flying
West Brom at The Liberty Stadium.
“There was a very good platform for Laudrup when he took over,
but he has tweaked the formation and brought in some very good
players,” Hughton said.
“I have been very impressed, not just with the run they are on,
but also with the style they are playing which is an exciting brand
of football, as well as anybody in this division.
“There have been no fluke results, they have earned them. It is
not about one player, it is about the quality they have got.
“At this moment they are doing very well and all look real good
[summer] purchases, particularly Michu, who is scoring the
“We will have to make sure we are as resilient as possible, but
also have a threat ourselves.”
Both sides maintained their top-flight status last season having
come up from the Championship, and following a dismal start to the
new campaign under Hughton – who took over when Paul Lambert left
for Aston Villa in the summer – the Canaries looked relegation
However, Hughton remained confident results would improve.
“Even in the earlier part of the season the performances were
not so bad,” said Hughton, whose side last lost 4-1 at Chelsea on
“However, on the back of two heavy defeats there was a conscious
effort we needed to tighten up as a unit and to put some wrongs
right. It is still all about getting consistency and putting down a
With England goalkeeper John Ruddy sidelined because of a thigh
injury which needed surgery, Mark Bunn is again set to
Hughton has looked to maintain a settled side whenever possible,
naming the same 10 outfield players for a spell of three games in
“Everybody wants to play at the moment, I haven’t got anybody
who feels like they want a rest or a player we particularly want to
rest,” Hughton said.
“The decisions will be solely based on a particular team for a
“We have got a competitive squad at the moment and certainly
have no fear about making any changes because any changes I did
make would be because I felt it would make the team as equally
Midfielder Jonny Howson has seen his chances limited by the
consistent performances from Republic of Ireland international Wes
Hoolahan, who is revelling in his support role behind Grant
The former Leeds captain, though, has few complaints.
Howson said: “Wes has been first class, his retention of the
ball and the things he creates…he is up there with one of the
best I have ever played with in my career.
“You can see no matter what teams we have come up against, he
has always caused them problems, so it would be very difficult to
take Wes out of there.
“But it is all about the team and the lads are doing
Manager Dean Holdsworth told the official club website: “I am
thankful to the Player Share Fund who have helped support part of
these important agreements for the club.”
Shots teenager Jack Barton has joined Ryman League Premier side
Kingstonian on loan until January 5 2013.