Bikey gives Burnley new year lift

The Cameroon defender Andre Bikey will delay his departure for the African Nations Cup to help Burnley during one of the busiest periods of the season.

The 24-year-old, who is also going to next summer's World Cup with his country, is planning to miss a pre-tournament training camp and instead fly straight to Angola.

That will mean he will be available for the games against Everton at Goodison Park on December 28 and the FA Cup third round on January 2. "The Cameroon manager (Paul Le Guen) is going to give us the maximum time to be at the club," said Bikey. "The African Cup starts on the 10th (of January) but we are going to get dispensation for four or five days. The English League doesn't stop so I don't have to be with the team for two weeks before. I am going to be with Burnley for the most time possible."

Since his summer move from Reading, Bikey, right, has been converted from a centre-back to a holding midfielder and has put in a number of impressive performances. He is just happy to be in the team and hopes to help safeguard their survival in the top flight.

"When I came to Burnley I didn't expect to be in midfield but I am enjoying it and I try to play as the manager wants," he said. "The most important thing is to get results and get a permanent place in this league. We have a team to do that."

* The Aston Villa defender Nicky Shorey will join Championship side Nottingham Forest on a month's loan on Thursday, the Premier League club said. The 28-year-old left-back, capped twice by England in 2007, has lost his place in Martin O'Neill's side to Stephen Warnock, who signed in the summer. Villa can recall him at 24 hours notice after the first 28 days of his loan.

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