Football: Ehiogu seeking advice over Gregory's comments

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The Independent Online
UGO EHIOGU, the Aston Villa defender, is to seek guidance from the Professional Footballers' Association after his manager, John Gregory, questioned his commitment to the club after Monday's Premiership derby defeat at Coventry.

The 27-year-old former England player has been battling to overcome a calf injury sustained against Manchester United in the Worthington Cup which has kept him on the sidelines for five matches.

But, after the defeat at Highfield Road, Gregory said: "I think Ugo would have played if it had been a cup final. He would have wanted to play if it had been a cup final. I'll try and convince him Saturday's match at Everton is at Wembley. It might just wake him from his slumbers."

The remark has widened the rift between the pair which developed when the player questioned Villa's ambition in the summer. The PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, has already condemned Gregory's remarks.

Gregory will be absent for his Football Association disciplinary hearing following comments he made to the fourth official, Andy D'Urso, after Gareth Southgate was sent off during the game at Leicester in September. Gregory has decided not to appeal against his charge. Southgate will attend a personal hearing in London to answer another misconduct charge following the Filbert Street incident.

Sheffield United have confirmed Bernard Procter will succeed Mike McDonald as chairman of the club's plc in a temporary capacity until a permanent successor is found. McDonald resigned on Tuesday following protests from fans over the sale of players, while the manager Adrian Heath also quit after the 3-1 defeat by Port Vale.

The Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg will have to serve his three- match ban after all following the dismissal of his appeal to the FA over his sending-off at Tottenham.

The White Hart Lane club are taking a sneak preview at the Norwegian striker Andreas Lund before making a pounds 3m move. Lund, 24, is training with Spurs during his club Molde's winter break.

Robbie Fowler is unlikely to need further ankle surgery and could be back in action in a fortnight. The Liverpool striker had a precautionary scan on Tuesday after complaining of soreness on his ankle.

Watford have announced they hope to raise pounds 5m with a private placement share issue that will bring five new directors on to the board at Vicarage Road.