Football in brief: Hammers in no hurry to recall Dyer despite relegation worries


West Ham United: Manager Gianfranco Zola will not rush Kieron Dyer back into the first team, despite the club's poor form. The midfielder, out since September with a hamstring injury, has started only four games since joining from Newcastle in August 2007.

However, he scored twice in the reserve team's 5-2 win over Stoke on Tuesday, raising the prospect of a return against Burnley at Upton Park today. "I don't want to put pressure on him, he's been out for a long time," Zola said. "I'm seeing him very positive, he's bright and he just needs to train a lot and be able to play to his standard for a long period." Defender Matthew Upson will sit out today's game after sustaining a hamstring injury in training.

Rahul Odedra

Hughes hopes return of Robinho can provide City with attacking spark

Manchester City: Mark Hughes hopes the return of Robinho will galvanise his team as they seek to end a run of six successive draws. The Brazilian has not featured for City since August after injuring an ankle but could face Hull today. "Robinho is an outstanding player," Hughes said. "If anyone is out for a long period sometimes you forget how accomplished they are. Having worked with him back in the group, we can see the qualities that he can bring." City let leads slip in three of their last four league games, leaving Hughes to settle for a point on each occasion. "He could have turned draws into victories," the City manager said. "If you get him into key areas he is one of the best in the world with his ability at close quarters."

James Mariner

Strachan seeks three points for Boro to make 'world a better place'

Middlesbrough: Manager Gordon Strachan maintains he is not concerned about the way his team plays – so long as they collect three points. Since arriving on Teesside, Strachan's side have only taken one point in three games, leaving the side 11th in the Championship. They will be looking for a win against bottom of the table Peterborough today ahead of a series of tough fixtures in the run-up to Christmas, including games with QPR, Cardiff and Newcastle. "If you can get on a run – it might start with a lucky one, it might start with a great one – you never know," Strachan said. "It's a hard, hard division. There's nothing tricky about it, there's nothing cosmic about the football. If you keep working hard, the world will become a better place."

Rahul Odedra

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