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Football League

Ravel Morrison told he must wait for West Ham chance


Ravel Morrison has been told he must wait for his West Ham debut as Sam Allardyce's men seek to go back to the top of the npower Championship table at Blackpool tonight.

Morrison has not featured for the Hammers since his £1million move from Manchester United in January and he is also unlikely to play at Bloomfield Road as Allardyce preaches patience.

Allardyce told the club's official website: "He is lacking in first-team experience at the moment and our position, with the necessity to gain automatic promotion, means it's a difficult team to break into.

"We have a wealth of top-quality, experienced players already available. Ravel will have to play a patient game and wait until it is the right time for us and him."

The Hammers will be without suspended pair Matt Taylor and Kevin Nolan and the injured Papa Bouba Diop, while Blackpool miss striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher and defender Alex Baptiste.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton hopes to bring Marlon King back for his side's trip to Barnsley after the striker missed Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round draw at Chelsea with a groin injury.

Hughton is ready to take a risk on King, his club's top scorer with 11 goals, admitting: "Marlon has been training and although he is still not 100% I think he will be okay."

Barnsley boss Keith Hill could give a full debut to 17-year-old midfielder Paul Digby with David Perkins definitely ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Middlesbrough are without the suspended Kevin Thompson for their trip to Millwall, but Barry Robson returns to Tony Mowbray's squad after sitting out Boro's last three games with a dislocated finger.

The Lions have a doubt over keeper Steve Mildenhall who injured his ankle in the FA Cup loss to Bolton, but Jimmy Abou is fit again after a knee problem and is pushing for a place in Kenny Jackett's squad.