Football: Platt fit to face Nigeria

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David Platt, the England captain, has declared himself fit to play for his country against Nigeria in the friendly at Wembley next month.

Platt has missed six games for his Italian club, Sampdoria, because of a knee injury which also caused him to withdraw from England's last match against Romania. But, on a flying visit to England, the former Aston Villa midfielder has assured Terry Venables, the England coach, he should easily be fit in time for Nigeria.

'Everything is fine and the injury is now becoming just a bad memory,' Platt said. 'I played for 70 minutes for Sampdoria against Fiorentina in the Italian Cup on Wednesday and had no reaction to the injury. Against Napoli on Sunday I hope to play the whole match.' Platt said he is due to play five matches between now and the international.

The author of a controversial book on Irish football claimed yesterday that he could 'really embarrass' Jack Charlton, the Republic's manager.

The journalist Paul Rowan said that up to five hours of a blunt and revealing interview he did with Charlton while researching his book The Team That Jack Built still exist on tapes and he would reveal their contents if the personalised attacks on him did not stop.

Rowan has taken offence to Charlton calling him a 'prat and a cheat' following the release of the book. 'I could really embarrass Jack,' he said.

'If he insists on attacking me, I will have to defend myself, although the last thing I want is a public row.'

West Bromwich Albion said they would continue their compensation claim against Tottenham over the loss of Ossie Ardiles, even if the Argentinian, under fire for poor results, leaves White Hart Lane. Albion, who want pounds 250,000 compensation, are waiting for the Football Association to fix a meeting between the two clubs to settle the 16-month dispute.

Steve McManaman has signed a new three-and-a-half year contract with Liverpool.

Lionel Pickering, the owner of Derby, has won control of the First Division club following a boardroom battle with the chairman, Brian Fearn.