Football in brief: 07/02/2009

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The Independent Online

Davies will prove the ideal captain, insists Megson

Manager Gary Megson has branded criticism of striker Kevin Davies as "ridiculous" and insists he will prove the ideal leader. Davies, 31, was appointed captain last week following Kevin Nolan's move to Newcastle.

Davies' physical approach has at times proved difficult for opposition defenders to cope with, but Megson insists he is the most fouled player in the top flight. "Some of the things that I hear about him, I find ridiculous," Megson said. "He is the most fouled player in the Premier League, yet I bet there are not too many people who foul him that get booked. What we encourage here is that when players hit the ground, that they get straight up and don't show they are hurt. We don't like all the rolling around and play-acting and the sooner that everybody shows the qualities that Kevin Davies has in that respect, the better."

Heskey returns to front for Blackburn match

Striker Emile Heskey will return for the match at Blackburn today after being ineligible for the FA Cup replay win over Doncaster. Midfielder Stiliyan Petrov is also available after serving a one-game ban. Gareth Barry, Gabriel Agbonlahor, former Rovers goalkeeper Brad Friedel and James Milner are all poised to return after being rested for the Cup tie as Villa seek a club-record seventh successive away league win.

Jo ready for debut but Anichebe is out

Jo is set for his Everton debut at home to Bolton today after his move from Manchester City. Victor Anichebe, who reportedly had a training ground bust-up with manager David Moyes this week, is not in the squad for the second match running with the Moyes saying he is injured. Marouane Fellaini (back) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are doubts.

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