Football: Burley and Francis show mutual respect

NATIONWIDE LEAGUE

GEORGE BURLEY, the Ipswich Town manager, believes his League leaders will face their toughest examination yet when they play Birmingham City at Portman Road today.

Trevor Francis' side are third in the First Division and Burley said: "I rate Birmingham very highly. I think they are a very good side, but we're top of the League and the other teams have got to catch us."

Francis returned the compliment: "We will have to give a committed performance, because they are the outstanding team in this league."

Sandwiched in-between Ipswich and Birmingham are second-placed Manchester City, who face Walsall at the Bescot Stadium. The City manager, Joe Royle, is delighted with his side's start, but also cautioned: "I'm pleased with the way things are going, but I'm very aware too that it is a tricky game against Walsall."

Bolton Wanderers had hoped to be among the pace-setters, but they are struggling with just one win. However, their manager, Colin Todd, remains upbeat ahead of the visit of Barnsley: "I'm sure that the tide will turn, but it's up to us to make sure that it does."

Bottom club Crystal Palace hope their midweek draw with Premiership side Leicester City in the Worthington Cup will lift them against Grimsby at Selhurst Park. "It has certainly been a morale-boost for everyone here," Steve Kember, Palace's assistant manager, said.

The Queen's Park Rangers manager, Gerry Francis, hopes his side will one day be able to spend like today's opponents Fulham. The sides meet in a west London derby at Craven Cottage and Francis said: "It's good for football in London and although it might take us a bit longer, we want to do the same thing as them and compete in the transfer market again."

The Cottagers' manager, Paul Bracewell, is excited by the game and he said: "It's a big game and that's what we were aiming for when I first came to the club."

Brian Little, the West Bromwich manager, wants to record his first home win of the season against Blackburn: "We've not won at home yet in the League and it would be a real tonic for us to break our duck in a big game like this."

Competition for places is hotting up at Rovers, to the delight of their manager, Brian Kidd, who said: "We should have plenty to choose from. Competition for places is the key to any successful side."

Norwich City have made a poor start and, ahead of their trip to Huddersfield, their manager, Bruce Rioch said: "We've played a lot of teams in the last few games who have spent a lot of money, and Huddersfield also fall into that category."

Sheffield United's manager, Adrian Heath, has a happy selection poser ahead of Charlton's visit to Bramall Lane, because forwards Paul Devlin, Peter Kachuro, Marcelo and Martin Smith are all available.

"When they're all fit we have got a few players for the positions out wide and down the middle, which gives me a selection dilemma," Heath said.

Andy Petterson will keep goal for Portsmouth at Tranmere after Aaron Flahavan fainted during the Worthington Cup defeat by Blackburn. It is the second time Flahavan has passed out during a match and manager Alan Ball has given him the next few days off.

"He gets an adrenaline rush which causes his blood pressure to drop," Ball said, "but we will give him a couple of days off and then he will play in the reserves on Wednesday."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Receptionist

£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss