Apologetic Bosnich 'must grow up'

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The Independent Online
Aston Villa's assistant manager, Allan Evans, suggested yesterday that the club's goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich, has no problems that maturity would not cure.

Bosnich is on a Football Association charge after his "joke" Nazi-style salute to Tottenham fans on Saturday after Spurs supporters had taunted him over his collision with Jurgen Klinsmann two seasons ago.

This Saturday, his sense of humour will no doubt be tested again during the visit to Villa Park of Leeds, whose fans will recall his dismissal late in a Premiership game at Elland Road 18 months ago, when Villa went on to lose.

"He's had problems with the Leeds crowd in the past," Evans said. "He was sent off there for wasting time and winding people up. He's been in the wrong a few times and he must start to grow up.

"As long as he learns from the White Hart Lane experience, it's OK. We believe he made a genuine mistake and I am sure the manager, Brian Little, intends to pick him for Saturday."

Bosnich, who has profusely apologised for the salute, describing it as a joke, is sure to be selected but Little will make changes for the visit of George Graham's Leeds side as he looks to end a sequence without a win stretching back to 4 September.

Little said: "You have to be concerned when you go seven matches without a victory and there will be changes."

One piece of good news for Little is that Gareth Southgate is likely to have recovered from the ankle injury he suffered while playing for England against Poland last Wednesday.

Middlesbrough's manager, Bryan Robson, might have been frustrated by his side's 2-2 draw against 10-man Sunderland on Monday, but he took consolation from Fabrizio Ravanelli breaking his goal drought away from the Riverside Stadium.

"He's so single-minded about scoring goals and there's no reason why he can't carry on scoring," Robson said of the Italian, who has scored 11 times this season. "It's nice that he's got off the mark in an away game but I don't think it was preying on his mind that he hadn't scored away from home."