Bowyer wins a cup medal but no new contract with Birmingham

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The Independent Online

Birmingham have told the midfielder Lee Bowyer he will not be offered a new contract when his deal expires this summer.

Bowyer was one of Birmingham's star players in their shock Carling Cup final victory over Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday. But the 34-year-old has confirmed he is looking for a new club, although he is clinging to the hope Birmingham may have a change of heart.

When asked if he was to be offered a new contract, Bowyer said: "I think at the moment the club have said 'no'. That is not going to happen so I'll be looking elsewhere.

"I wanted to stay anyway, irrespective of what happened at Wembley. They might change their mind and keep me on, you never know. But that is up to the club. It is out of my hands. All I can do is try to put on performances."

Bowyer, who joined Birmingham two years ago from West Ham, believes he is still good enough to play in the Premier League. He said: "I feel good. I'm 34. Because of your age, people still question whether you can still get box to box, if you can still do what you used to do. But I think I showed against Arsenal that I obviously can. I've scored important goals this season, against Chelsea, Manchester United and in the semi-final against West Ham.

"I've also got a good track record in Europe as well, I've scored quite a few goals in Europe. I've been doing it my whole career. Nothing has changed, apart from my age. I've just got older and wiser and just tried to calm down. My deal is done here in the summer at Birmingham. I can still do the business so we will see what happens."

If Bowyer does leave, he will at least be able to look back on the first medal he has won during his lengthy career.

He said: "It was my first final, I've been in a lot of semi-finals. Thankfully, I've got a medal now and it is the right one. In the past, when I was at Leeds, everyone put us down to win this, that and the other in terms of trophies and it never happened. I'm just thankful and I've had a taste of it.

"I remember [the former Leeds manager] David O'Leary saying to me, 'It is not how much money you earn, it is the medals you get', and that is the most important thing. I can go home and show my kids I've won a medal and not a lot of people can do that."

The West Ham co-chairman David Gold is recovering well from cholangitis and septicaemia, his daughter Jacqueline said yesterday. Gold went into hospital on Sunday after being taken ill on Wednesday evening.

Since then, the club have been inundated with messages of support for the 74-year-old, who missed the team's crucial 3-1 win over Liverpool last weekend.

The Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, believes Fraizer Campbell is looking "magnificent" as he nears a return to action. Campbell has not played for the Black Cats since the end of August after rupturing a cruciate knee ligament, described by Bruce at the time as "a tragedy". However, the 23-year-old striker is on the verge of a comeback, with the likelihood he will initially be given a reserve run-out.

Campbell could then figure in the Premier League game with Liverpool on 20 March at the Stadium of Light. "Fraizer looks magnificent," Bruce said. "I have never seen anybody recover from a knee injury as quickly, and when you look at the knee scar, the shape he is in and the condition he is in, it is absolutely fantastic. We expect him to play in a week."



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