Football: Forest deny Atkinson rumours

THE NOTTINGHAM Forest chief executive, Phil Soar, has dismissed speculation that Ron Atkinson, the former Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday manager, is poised to take over as manager at the City Ground.

Dave Bassett's future as the Forest manager is uncertain - the club have gone a record 17 Premier League games without a win, and there was speculation around the City Ground that the former Wimbledon and Sheffield United manager was about to resign after Forest's humiliating FA Cup defeat at the hands of Portsmouth on Saturday. However, Soar said yesterday: "As far as I'm concerned the manager's position remains unchanged. I know nothing about Ron Atkinson."

Michael Owen has been defended against accusations of diving by the Port Vale centre-back he tormented in Liverpool's FA Cup third-round win.

Liverpool's teenaged forward was booed by Vale fans who claimed he made a meal of a penalty area challenge during the 3-0 victory, but Vale's Paul Beesley insists it was only the England player's phenomenal speed which made it look like a dive. "If I had to face him every week, I'd be grey. He doesn't dive, he's just so damned quick it looks that way," the 33-year-old Vale defender said.

Owen won the penalty, scored it himself, and created the third for Robbie Fowler.

The Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, yesterday admitted his side were missing Dwight Yorke, the striker they sold to Manchester United, but is hoping Paul Merson can fill the void as the Premiership title race gathers pace. Merson is back in training after having an injection to ease the back problem he has been suffering for the past three months.

Gregory said: "We are still missing Dwight Yorke at times. There were times last year when Dwight won us matches away from home when we were under the cosh.

"Paul Merson is very similar. He can do the same sort of thing. You never know with back problems what can happen, but he seems okay."

Lee Sharpe yesterday became David Platt's first signing as Sampdoria manager when he joined the Italian club on loan for the rest of the season. The Leeds winger, put on the transfer list by the Elland Road manager, David O'Leary, last year, has moved to the Serie A club with a view to a permanent transfer.

Sharpe, a former England international, together with Tomas Brolin, was the Yorkshire club's record signing, costing the then manager, Howard Wilkinson, pounds 4.5m when he moved from Manchester United in 1996. However, a serious knee injury set him back and even when he was fit, he fell out of favour with George Graham and then O'Leary.

The Everton manager, Walter Smith, is interested in taking the Celtic striker Simon Donnelly to Goodison Park. The former Rangers manager is hoping to open discussions with Donnelly, who is out of contract in the summer.

Smith could offer a nominal fee to Celtic for Donnelly of around pounds 300,000 to sign him now or wait until he is a free agent.

The former Crystal Palace midfielder Darren Pitcher is taking legal action against Huddersfield Town and their former defender, Paul Reid.

The lawsuit has been filed after a challenge between the players in the match at the McAlpine Stadium on 31 August 31, 1996, which left Pitcher with damaged cruciate ligaments.

Two months ago, the Bradford City striker Gordon Watson won a High Court claim for negligence against Huddersfield and their defender Kevin Gray after Watson suffered a broken leg in a First Division match. Huddersfield insist they will defend any action in the case of Reid.

general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before