Brann restore harmony for Anfield trip

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The Independent Online
Liverpool's European Cup-Winners' Cup opponents, SK Brann, will fly into England today with harmony restored in their camp.

Two of their senior players, midfielder Jan Ove Pedersen and goalkeeper Birkir Kristinsson, have decided not to pursue action against the club after a public outcry in Bergen.

They both asked for compensation from Brann, who forgot to re-register them in time for the Cup Winners' Cup game after they had gone on loan during the winter close season.

Norway midfielder Pedersen, who has two years left on his contract, was claiming pounds 100,000, while Iceland goalkeeper Kristinsson, who had a brief spell with Birmingham, has one year left on his current deal and demanded pounds 60,000.

The pair said the two matches "were the shopping window of the century for Brann's players". They threatened the club with court action on Friday, only a few hours after the quarter-final second-leg match at Anfield, if the matter was not solved to their satisfaction.

But the players seem to have misjudged public opinion and dropped their claims after a flood of criticism on television and radio as well as in newspapers, in which they were branded as "greedy and stupid".

Pedersen and Kristinsson are expected to travel with the squad to Liverpool today even though they are ineligible.

The squad are using Chester as their base and their coach, Kjell Tennfjord, will lead them in a training session at Anfield tonight.

Brann's key man is likely to be striker Tore Andre Flo, who is still mulling over a new deal which would bring him pounds 150,000 a year.

Jamie Redknapp, meanwhile, is not yet ready to thrash out details of another contract at Anfield, according to his agent. Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, had indicated he was willing to start the ball rolling, but Redknapp's agent, Dennis Roache, said: "Rumours of Jamie negotiating a new contract are untrue and unfounded.

"There will be no negotiations in the foreseeable future as his existing contract still has two years to run."

Liverpool's main injury worry is Jason McAteer as they hope to build on a 1-1 draw in Norway two weeks ago and clinch a place in the semi-finals.

The Republic of Ireland wing-back had nine stitches inserted in a head wound during the game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but is determined to play in front of a full-house at Anfield.

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