Wilson keen to be Hearts hero

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has insisted defender Wes Morgan

is not for sale.

The 29-year-old centre-back has been linked with a return to

former club Nottingham Forest, but Pearson says he is going


But he told BBC Radio Leicester: “Wes is not a player I have any

intention of selling, so it doesn’t matter whether there has been a

bid or not.

“There may have been, but it doesn’t matter; it will have been

turned down.”

Morgan spent 10 years with Forest before joining Leicester last


Wright was in his native Belfast on Thursday night to watch

Rosenborg come from behind to beat Cruasders 2-1 in the first leg

of the first qualifying round.

Jordan Owens gave the hosts a shock lead and they put the

Norwegian side under pressure throughout.

Wright, who will watch Rosenborg take on Lillestrom on Sunday,

told his club’s official website: “Crusaders played very well and

were unlucky not to get a draw.

“That said, Rosenborg rested five players who I feel would

probably be termed as normally being in their starting eleven and I

think I will get a better feel for them when I see them again on


“Rosenborg are a strong, powerful team and a different

proposition from Eskisehirspor last season.

“I actually think the Turks were better technically but there is

no doubting Rosenborg’s quality.

“However, I’ve come away with the feeling that we can go into

the tie with confidence.”

Rooney’s future has been the focus of much speculation this

summer and has cast a huge shadow over the early stages of Moyes’

tenure as he replaces Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain have all been touted as

suitors for the England striker but Moyes has stated that the

England striker will stay at Old Trafford.

“Wayne is not for sale,” he said. “He’s a Manchester United

player and he will remain a Manchester United player.”

Moyes also managed the 28-year-old during his time at Everton

and believes he can get the best out of the England striker.

“I’ve been fortunate, I’ve known Wayne since he was 16,” Moyes


“I’ve had several meetings with Wayne. He’s training brilliantly

well, he’s come back in good shape and I’m really looking forward

to working with him.

“We have spoken several times and as far as I’ve seen it,

whatever happened before has gone.

“We are working together now. I see a glint in his eye, he looks

happy and if he is saying I’m going to knuckle down and get it

right – let’s not kid ourselves.

“He’s a terrific player and let me reiterate, he’s not for


Moyes also distanced himself from any meeting between Rooney and

his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson about a possible departure for

the forward from Old Trafford.

“There was a private meeting between two people and I was not

privy to that. I’m now looking at it in my period at Man Utd,”

Moyes said.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Wayne and getting

him to the levels I know he’s capable of. I can tell you

categorically that Wayne Rooney is training very well.

“If I was Wayne, you look at the legends that have played for

this club. I could see George Best, Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane and I

thought Wayne isn’t too far away from that.

“It’s not too difficult to get the goals and he could be near to


Moyes also revealed that he was personally anointed by Ferguson

during a meeting at the 71-year-old’s house.

Ferguson’s retirement in May was unexpected and Moyes was called

to his fellow Scot’s home to be told the news.

“It was a really strange situation for me,” he added. “I had no

idea whatsoever.

“A lot of people thought I’d known something about the job. I

knew nothing at all about it until Sir Alex gave me a call and

asked me to come to his house.

“I was expecting him to say, ‘I’m gonna take one of your players

or I’m gonna do something else’, I wasn’t sure what he we was gonna

say to me.

“And we went in and the first thing he said to me, he says: ‘I’m


“And I said ‘yeah, when?’ you know, because he was never

retiring, was he?

“And he says ‘next week’, and his next words were ‘and you’re

the next Manchester United manager’.

“So I didn’t get a chance to say yes or no, I was told I was the

next Manchester United manager by Sir Alex, so for me that was


“As you can imagine the blood drained from my face – I was

really shocked. More shocked that Sir Alex had chosen to retire,

but inside I was incredibly thrilled that I was going to be given

the opportunity to manage Manchester United.”

Moyes is, however, happy for Ferguson to give his advice in the

early stages of his role new role as United manager.

“I hope he is sitting in the directors’ box,” Moyes said.

“He has been so good. I’ve already called him two or three times

for advice on matters. I’m taking over the champions of England and

it gives me a great opportunity.

“He’s not there to pressure me. The Glazers have been fantastic

since I spoke to them and Ed Woodward the chief exec and the

players have been very good and responded well.

“It’s never easy going into a new job let alone one the size of

Manchester United.”

With Ryan Giggs and former Manchester United defender Phil

Neville already on board in Moyes’ coaching set-up, he also hinted

Paul Scholes could make a return to Old Trafford in a similar

capacity after he retired at the end of last season.

“I’ve got to say when I spoke to him he was absolutely fantastic

and he gave me some guidance on things,” Moyes said on Scholes.

“We probably spent and hour or two on the phone. He wants to

give his family some time but there will be a place for him and

we’ll look to bring him back in when he feels ready.”

The arrival of Moyes at Old Trafford is not the only managerial

appointment in the Premier League this summer, and the new

Manchester United boss is looking forward to locking horns with one

man in particular.

“I’m really pleased to see Jose (Mourinho) back,” Moyes


“He’s been very successful and I think we’ll enjoy having Jose

back in the Premier League again. Manuel Pellegrini – I’ve come

across him a couple of times with Villarreal and Malaga so it will

be new for him as well (at Manchester City).

“Probably for the first time there has been a good shake up in

the Premier League and because of that there are a lot of things

that are unknown. I don’t just think it at this club, there are a

few other clubs that are very similar.”

The shake up will be felt more keenly at Old Trafford than

elsewhere however, as Moyes replaces a man who won two European

Cups, 13 Premier League titles and five FA Cups during his 27 years

at the helm.

And while Moyes is hopeful he can put his own stamp on United,

he knows that the fans at least, will expect him to maintain many

of the aspects of the Ferguson era.

When asked how his side would play, Moyes said: “I hope the same

way, I hope the same traditions, I hope entertaining, exciting


“But I’ve always said, the biggest thing in football is to


“I would always probably put winning at the top of the list, I

don’t think I’ve ever changed from that and I’m sure that Sir Alex

would as well.

“I think if you had a great entertaining team but you didn’t win

the games it doesn’t quite get you anywhere, so I think you’ve got

to get the balance right and hopefully I can.”

He added: “Any football coach who wants to coach or manage, when

you look outside any window you see Old Trafford, you have to

because it’s a place you want to go.

“I always hoped that when Sir Alex’s days would come that I

would be a consideration.

“Whoever was going to take over this club knows the job would be

taking over from the manager before who was incredible. Someone who

everybody in football looks up to. Worldwide known.

“His achievements, there are probably no better.

“He tops my list of many Scottish managers: Sir Matt (Busby),

Bill Shankley, Jock Stein and certainly Sir Alex is right up with

that group of managers.

“All I can do is do what David Moyes has done before. I’ll

definitely continue the traditions of Manchester United.

“But I have to, in my own way, put my own stamp on the club.

“Sir Alex had to so it when he took over and it took him a

little bit of time.

“I’m very fortunate I’m taking over the champions of England. So

from that point of view it gives me a great starting point, better

than most would ever get.”

Summer arrivals Cammy Bell, Steven Smith, Richard Foster, Nicky

Clark, Jon Daly and Nicky Law are among a 23-man pool for

friendlies against Brora Rangers on Sunday and Elgin on


French-Tunisian defender Bilel Mohsni, who left Southend at the

end of last season, will also join the party as he bids to win a


McCoist, who will take his squad to Germany after a friendly at

Bristol City on July 13, told his club’s official website: “We are

lucky in that we have the best facility in the country in the form

of Murray Park. It’s fantastic and we are blessed to have it.

“At the same time, it can be extremely beneficial to get the

players away from their own environment where they are all


“They will get a chance to get to know each other away from the

football park as well when we’re in Brora and that’s a big


“We’ve got a few new faces in the group who have still to get to

know each other and their new team-mates.”

Another of McCoist’s seven summer signings, Honduras midfielder

Arnold Peralta, has still to arrive in Scotland following his

international exertions.

Dean Shiels, Chris Hegarty and Barrie McKay will stay behind at

Murray Park to continue their rehabilitation from injury.

The group was competing with one other anonymous party for

control of the club and stadium.

Pars United revealed the news on its official Twitter


The group wrote: “We are delighted to announce we have been

named preferred bidder by the administrators. Still a lot of work

to do.”

A statement from club administrators BDO is expected later.

Hooper has been the subject of intense media speculation

regarding his future since the turn of the year.

The former Southend and Scunthorpe favourite has yet to commit

his future to the Scottish champions, who have offered him a new


Norwich failed with a bid in excess of £7million in

January, while Hull City had a smaller offer dismissed last


Now Hooper insists his focus is improving on last season’s

success with Celtic, which included a Champions League victory over


“I want to beat my tally from last season, that’s the aim

because I’ve done it every season,” he said.

“I also have to get 20 or more league goals because I didn’t get

it just there, I only got 19.

“I want to play in the Champions League again, get into the

group stages and get that feeling again.

“I know I wasn’t playing in the game against Barcelona but it

was still amazing.

“We also want to retain the title as obviously the league is

still our priority.”

New Everton assistant manager Jones believes the challenge

facing the new Toffees boss is to successfully blend two different

styles without compromising results.

Martinez, who along with Jones has brought three key members of

his Wigan backroom staff with him to Goodison Park, has earned a

reputation for getting his teams to play attractive football.

It is a more open, possession-based style than the current

Toffees squad have been used to under predecessor David Moyes.

Jones said it was important to retain elements of the past while

introducing a new culture.

“I think the key here at Everton is to get the balance between

what’s gone on before and what we can bring to the table,” he


“What Everton have achieved is sixth place in the Premier

League, which is fantastic.

“We need to match that and do better over a period of time. It’s

a great challenge.”

Many of the squad returned to pre-season training yesterday,

with others who have had international commitments staggering their

return, giving Martinez and his team a chance to get their first

look at the players they will be working with.

Not that many need introductions as Jones said they were well

aware of what they had inherited from Moyes.

“It’s a fantastic group of players. That’s there for everybody

to see,” he told evertontv.

“More than talent, you have to look behind that and you can see

the character of the players.

“I won’t forget the game at Wigan in October when they were 2-1

down with half an hour to go.

“The impression from being on the opposite management team was

that this group of players aren’t going to stop until they get

something out of the game (it finished 2-2 thanks to an 87th-minute

Leighton Baines penalty).

“It was such a positive statement. Then you come into the club

and you hear about the quality of the people not just the quality

of the players.

“That’s what’s exciting because it is a great platform to start

work on.”

Jones was officially confirmed in his post yesterday, although a

deal with Wigan had been done earlier in the week to release them

from their contracts without the need for compensation.

The new Everton assistant manager admits it is a step up for

everyone who has made the switch from the DW Stadium but one they

are confident about making.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision to join Everton but it was a

difficult decision to leave Wigan because I had four years there as

a player and four years there as assistant manager,” he added.

“You have a certain attachment to any club – if I have eight

years at Everton it would certainly be difficult to leave.

“You meet good people but we felt like the time was right, the

opportunity was right and we took it. We are ready to go.

“It is the next step for us and it’s a huge club with huge


“You notice the great standards straight away when dealing with

the people in and around the club. The club motto (Nothing but the

best) certainly rings true.”

Everton are still waiting to finalise deals to reunite Martinez

with former Wigan players Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone.

Newcastle were given permission to speak to the latter yesterday

but the striker appears keen to work with his former manager


Alcaraz, as a free agent, was expected to have signed by now but

the paperwork is yet to be finalised.

The Gorgie club entered administration last month, which brought

a 15-point deduction and a registration embargo with further

possible sanctions to follow.

Manager Gary Locke has watched a whole team of players depart

the club, including experienced defenders Andy Webster and Marius

Zaliukas and striker John Sutton, and has been left with a squad

packed with youngsters.

Wilson, 21, who will take over the armband from Zaliukas for the

forthcoming campaign, believes surviving in the top flight would

ensure their places in Jambos folklore.

“I think it would be the biggest achievement in the club’s

history if we were able to overturn this,” the Scotland defender


“We are young and it is going to be difficult but we have the

chance to make ourselves heroes at this club and that’s what you

want as a footballer.

“You would rather be going for cups and titles, obviously, but

this would be just as big.

“It is a great opportunity for all the young boys. They will be

playing every week and, at their age, that doesn’t happen in many


“This is a massive club and, if they can do well this season,

they can become heroes at a very young age.

“We have to have the mentality that everyone is against us and

we are going to go out there and prove everybody wrong. It is the

only way we can approach every game.

“We have nothing to lose this season – we are already 15 points


Some eyebrows were raised when Wilson resisted the temptation to

join the Tynecastle exodus.

The former Rangers player agreed a three-year deal with the

Jambos following a loan move from Liverpool last season but could

have moved on when Hearts entered administration.

A loophole allowed him to get around the consequent signing

embargo imposed but, along with several other players, he took a

wage cut to stay at the club.

Asked if it might have been better to go somewhere more stable,

Wilson replied: “People have said that to me and I had other offers

but I made the commitment about a month and half ago to stay here

and I made a lot of changes in my life for that.

“I had bought a house and was settled and didn’t want to uproot


“Obviously, I took a wage cut to stay and was more than happy to

do so to help in any way I could.

“I had been really happy here for six months and I get on so

well with the manager and the boys at the club.

“So you don’t just trade that for a bit of uncertainty.

“I’m here for the long haul and hopefully we can come through

this better.”

And Wilson is “really proud” to be the new Gorgie skipper.

He said: “If it was a few years ago, when there were more senior

players it wouldn’t have happened, but the gaffer has given me the

honour of being captain.

“But even if anyone else had been given the captaincy, we all

need to show more leadership this season.”

Meanwhile, the Foundation of Hearts has confirmed a partnership

with Gordon McKie’s consortium is one of two options for its

impending takeover bid – but the fans’ group is set to take an

alternative route.

Former Scottish Rugby Union chief executive McKie admitted today

that his group of Hearts-supporting businessmen could not fund a

takeover alone.

The Foundation of Hearts confirmed McKie’s proposal was welcomed

and is one of the two options they referred to 24 hours earlier,

which both involve supporter investment in partnership with


But the network of fans groups added in a statement: “At this

time, the Foundation is set to choose the alternative funding

option but wishes to maintain a strong, positive relationship with

Mr McKie’s group, given it and his own personal expertise.”

The group reported a 15 per cent increase in fans converting

their pledges into direct debits in the 24 hours since the launch

of their “final push” – a number which sends them towards the 5,000


Foundation of Hearts chairman Ian Murray MP said: “The board of

Foundation of Hearts will consider the best option for Hearts –

nothing else – ahead of next week’s deadline.

“We welcome Gordon’s honesty that his own consortium is not in a

position to go it alone and thank him for putting a proposal to us.

They have been forthright and professional all through the


“Our bid will combine capital funding support alongside the

fantastic efforts of supporters in setting up thousands of direct

debits to the Foundation to provide a stable ongoing financial