Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has no doubts about Emmanuel Adebayor's mindset ahead of Arsenal's arrival for the Carling Cup quarter-final tomorrow.
Adebayor was handed a three-game ban for violent conduct after he raked his studs down Robin van Persie's face in September. But Hughes, entering this difficult week under renewed scrutiny after seven successive league draws, will not rest him. "There is no feeling he won't play as a consequence of what happened last time," the City manager said. "In fact, he's more likely to play because he had such a huge influence on the game." By Ian Herbert
Pavlyuchenko set for talks over move to Roma, says agent
Roman Pavlyuchenko's agent expects the Tottenham Hotspur striker's future to become clearer tomorrow after he revealed that he is set for talks with AS Roma, in Italy. Pavlyuchenko has made no secret of his discontent at White Hart Lane in recent weeks and has been linked with a number of clubs across Europe. Roma are favourites to win the race for Pavlyuchenko's signature and the out-of-favour striker could head to the Italian capital in January if upcoming talks prove fruitful. "We're meeting Roma today or tomorrow for Roman," Oliver Wendt said. "Roman wants to leave London and he wants to go to Roma. If Tottenham allow him to go, Roman could be a Roma player."
'Miracle' escape still on for Pompey, says Grant
Avram Grant, the Portsmouth manager whose side host Aston Villa in a Carling Cup quarter-final tonight, believes his lack of experience at the wrong end of the Premier League will not handicap him in his relegation battle at Fratton Park. "I don't have enough experience at the bottom of the leagues – I am guilty," he said. "I've spent more than 90 per cent of my life at the top, but I know what I need to do here." While Grant has 24 games in which turn the team's fortunes around, it is clear that Portsmouth need something special to retain their top-flight status. But Grant said: "Miracles happen sometimes, no?"
Brown's Hull job safe until end of the year
Phil Brown, the Hull City manager, has been told his job is safe until the end of December at least after his side's change in fortunes in the Premier League. An unbeaten run of four games, including two victories, has left them four points clear of the relegation zone. "What's happened is that the team has shown over the last four weeks that it is prepared to play for the manager, there's no doubt about that," Adam Pearson, the chairman, said. "Phil has earned that support by performing well."