Today in the Premier League

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas has reaffirmed his future to the club, but admits he "dreams" of joining Real Madrid. "I am happy here," he said. "I am made to feel important. I have four teams which are a dream. One is Arsenal, the others Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid, because of their history and style."

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill believes the midfielder Ashley Young's recent success has led to the England international being treated more physically by Premier League defenders. "With Ashley, I think there has been a definite shift," the manager said, "in terms of teams closing him down quickly."

Birmingham City

Alex McLeish has praised Blues fans for their support of the team, and called on them to get behind the players for Saturday's visit of Everton. "I know the players get a lift and an energy when the supporters are right behind them," the manager said, "and are singing as loud as they can."

Blackburn Rovers

The manager Mark Hughes believes the race for European positions will run until the last day of the season, and believes Rovers have a good chance of qualifying. "We'll keep going right to the end," he said. "To be at this stage of the season and still have something to strive for shows us great credit."

Bolton Wanderers

Reports suggesting manager Gary Megson is to be replaced by Nigerian coach Samson Siasia have been dismissed. "The story has no basis in fact whatsoever," a club statement read, something Siasia refuted. "Bolton made contact a week ago," he said. "Things are almost concluded. I expect to go to England by the 24th of this month."

Chelsea

Jack Cork is uncertain over his Stamford Bridge future. The defender, 18, will return from a loan spell at Scunthorpe in the summer. "I want to see what happens in pre-season," he said. "Breaking into the first team would be the best situation but you don't see many players coming through into Chelsea's first team."

Derby County

Tyrone Mears hopes to regain his starting place in the Rams' defence before the end of the season. The 25-year-old returned during the 1-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday after three months out with a shin injury. "It was just good to get half a game," he said. "Hopefully my start will come soon."

Everton

Tim Howard said he hopes to break the Toffees' League clean sheet record for a single season. The American international currently has 14 following the 1-0 win over Derby on Sunday, and has the five remaining games to eclipse Neville Southall's record of 15 during the 1994-95 season.

Fulham

Roy Hodgson has challenged striker David Healy to score the goals that will keep his side in the Premier League. Healy has struggled for form at Craven Cottage this season but scored against Sunderland last weekend. "His shares have risen enormously with that wonder goal," the manager admitted.

Liverpool

The Anfield club have again been linked with a summer transfer move for the highly-rated Portuguese right-back Jose Boswinga. The 25-year-old Porto defender said this week that "the summer is the best moment for me to leave for a top European club."

Manchester City

Nedum Onuoha has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder. The defender suffered the injury during Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea when challenging John Obi Mikel. "He will be out for three months," manager Sven Goran Eriksson said.

Manchester United

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar believes the club's dropped points at Middlesbrough on Sunday were due to the injury-enforced absence of defender Nemanja Vidic. "It is no coincidence we had a few problems with Vidic out," The Dutchman said of the 2-2 draw. "We'll miss him in defence."

Middlesbrough

Manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Gaizka Mendieta will be released at the end of the season. The Spanish midfielder has been limited to reserve-team appearances at the Riverside this season. "We will not be offering him a new contract in the summer," Southgate said.

Newcastle United

Kevin Keegan has assured the midfielder Damien Duff that he has a future at St James' Park. The 29-year-old has been left out of the starting line-up in recent games. "Damien is a key player," the manager said of the Republic of Ireland player. "He still has a major role to play."

Portsmouth

Sylvain Distin has insisted the club will not allow next month's FA Cup final to impact on their league form. "We're not focused only on the Cup," the defender said. "Reaching fifth place will be almost as good. You have to be more consistent than in the Cup and we've been very good in the league."

Reading

Kevin Doyle said the club's precarious league position means the immediate aftermath of matches are spent watching rivals' results come in on television. "The manager says his bit and then the TV is put on," he said. "After Saturday's game [against Fulham] I'm sure we'll have a look."

Sunderland

Kieran Richardson intends to make up for lost time after back and hamstring injuries reduced him to just 13 appearances this season. "These last five games are very important to me," he said. "The fans have not seen what I'm capable of. I've missed games, so every minute matters to me."

Tottenham Hotspur

Dimitar Berbatov has admitted he would be "flattered" to discuss a transfer with Milan in the summer. "My head will boil again in the summer from the speculation," he said. "I know the price [Spurs want], but I won't tell you. If conversations with Milan start, I will be flattered."

West Ham United

Alan Curbishley admits the club's current injury situation makes planning for summer transfers difficult. "There are five or six players out who don't have a return date and are in limbo," the manager said. "I am not sure at this moment where we are at. We are trying to assess what we have but the injury list is unprecedented."

Wigan Athletic

Steve Bruce has "laughed" off reports linking his in-form midfielder Antonio Valencia with a move from the JJB Stadium. "If anyone wants any of my players they are going to have to pay a premium rate," the Latics manager said. "When I was told about this supposed £5m interest in Valencia, I laughed... and I mean laughed."

Comments