Football in Brief: Torres thanks fans for their support

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The Independent Football

Fernando Torres has thanked Chelsea's fans for refusing to turn on him after the £50m man's Stamford Bridge career hit a new low. Saturday saw Torres score his third Chelsea goal and play a part in Ramires' second, but he then got himself sent off for an ugly lunge on Swansea's Mark Gower.

He said: "When you are doing great, scoring goals from the first day and doing good performances, it's easy for the fans to love and support you. But the first six months for me at Chelsea have been very, very difficult and I've been struggling, but I have always had the support of the fans. I can feel the support they are giving me."

Venky's reschedule Blackburn's India tour

Blackburn will visit India early next month, having cancelled their July trip at the last minute, the club's owners said yesterday. Blackburn, owned by poultry giants Venky's, had postponed their pre-season visit to Pune after three bomb blasts killed more than 20 people.

"Security is paramount but so is our commitment to bringing Blackburn to India," director Balaji Rao said yesterday. "And perhaps the visit now could not have been better timed. The club is riding on a high after its big win over Arsenal, and the players are eager to share the glory with their Indian fans."

Bale happy to see opponents sent off

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has no problem being kicked by Premier League defenders – as long as referees keep sending them off.

The past eight days have seen Liverpool's Martin Skrtel and Wigan's Steve Gohouri both shown red for bringing down Bale, who has looked looked virtually unstoppable in recent weeks.

"It's not nice but I suppose it's a compliment when you're playing well and people want to drag you down," Bale said.

"There have been two sent off in the last two games, so they can keep kicking me if they want as long as they get sent off."

Midfielder breaks hand in wall punch

Footballers are often encouraged to play with passion – but Luton Town manager Gary Brabin may ask his players to hold back following a self-inflicted injury at the weekend.

Midfielder Alex Lawless was so infuriated by his side's first-half performance in their 3-0 defeat to York City that he punched the wall at half-time, breaking his hand and ruling himself out for weeks.

Brabin, already dealing with an injury crisis, was not best pleased and is believed to have fined the player. And as for the hapless Lawless? "He's inconsolable." James Waterson

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