Today in the Premier League

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Mathieu Flamini said the club need to forget the 0-0 draw at Wigan last week and look to gain maximum points against Middlesbrough this weekend. "You cannot moan," he said. "You have to score goals and we didn't, so now we have to work harder. When you want to win the title, you have to fight."

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill believes qualifying for Europe would help "aid the development" of the club's current crop of young players. "European football would help their game enormously," the manager said. "I know from my own experience the improvement of players when they get used to European football."

Birmingham City

The striker Mikael Forssell said he has yet to begin discussions with the club about extending his current contract, which expires in the summer. "We haven't spoken about it at all," the Finland international said. "But hopefully that might be resolved before the end of the season."

Blackburn Rovers

The club have agreed a three-year £4m shirt sponsorship deal with Lancashire-based Crown Paints, beginning next season. "This deal gives us the opportunity to work with a major national brand, with the added benefit of a strong local connection," the Rovers chairman John Williams said.

Bolton Wanderers

Nicky Hunt believes the club have the experience to pull clear of the relegation zone after the Trotters entered the bottom three last weekend. "We had a meeting and decided we're looking for 12th place," he said. "The players we have in the dressing room shouldn't be there but the table doesn't lie. We need to knuckle down and get results."


The former Blues striker Tore-Andre Flo has announced his retirement from football after a 16-year career. The 34-year-old joined Chelsea from SK Brann in 1997, going on to score 50 goals in 169 appearances and lifting both the Carling and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1998. He left the club to join Rangers two years later.

Derby County

The chairman Adam Pearson said he expects Paul Jewell to remain as Rams manager despite the club's likely relegated this season. "He is a good man-manager, canny, street-wise and a tough cookie," Pearson said. "It's absolutely clear that there is a long-term commitment to him."


The club believe James Vaughan will "back playing soon" after the forward underwent a successful knee operation in Colorado. "It was a straightforward procedure concerning the cartilage," physio Mick Rathbone said. "It went well and it was noted that the knee was in good condition."


Midfielder Clint Dempsey retains hopes of meeting his pre-season target of 10 goals, but has insisted the club's Premier League survival is his main priority. "The most important thing is that we stay up," the American said. "If my personal targets are part of the reason for that, then great."


Javier Mascherano said the current squad hope to emulate past Reds sides in lifting the European Cup. "Liverpool is one of the best clubs in the world," he said. "So we have to prove this on the pitch. The history of the club is so special and we are just doing our best to try and create more history."

Manchester City

Former defender Andy Hinchliffe believes City will struggle to beat Tottenham on Sunday. "Sven [Goran Eriksson] will hope to catch Spurs on an off-day," he said. "With [Micah] Richards and [Martin] Petrov absent, the team doesn't look good enough to take any points."

Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson believes former United striker Teddy Sheringham has the potential to succeed in management as the 41-year-old approaches retirement. "He's single-minded and a strong character," the manager said. "Those are qualities he can take into management. We all wish him well."


The manager Gareth Southgate believes guiding the club to a midtable finish will be an achievement. "We have had an enormous amount of change," Southgate said. "So to finish 12th, given the finances of all the clubs involved, would probably be about a par finish."

Newcastle United

Midfielder Emre is nearing a return from a month on the sidelines with a calf injury, but admits the match at Birmingham on Monday may come too quickly. "Birmingham will be too soon," the Turk said. "But if I return to training next week, maybe the Fulham game [on 22 March] is possible."


Manager Harry Redknapp believes the defender Glen Johnson is one of "the best right-backs in the country". "He is an outstanding player," he said. "He lacks concentration at times, but when he is switched on he has got everything. I would be surprised if he was not in the next England squad."


The Royals captain Graeme Murty said he will not risk aggravating his knee injury by returning for the match against boyhood heroes Liverpool on Saturday. "You have to respond to these things in the proper manner," he said. "That, for me, is to make sure I do my rehab properly."


Defender Phil Bardsley has apologised for his tackle on Everton's Steven Pienaar during the Black Cats' 1-0 defeat on Sunday. "Looking back, it was a bad tackle," the 22-year-old said. "But when the TV slows it down, it looks a lot worse. I know it wasn't the greatest of tackles."

Tottenham Hotspur

Schalke 04 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said he has yet to hear of any interest from White Hart Lane after reports linked him with a move to the club. "I haven't heard anything," he said. "If it were true, I would be flattered, but my heart is here at Schalke and I'm not wasting any thoughts."

West Ham United

The striker Freddie Sears has signed a two-and-a-half year extension to his contract at Upton Park. "He is different to what we have available at the moment," manager Alan Curbishley said of the 18-year-old. "He is Craig Bellamy-like, he is quick, wants to get behind defenders and goes about his business quietly."

Wigan Athletic

Andreas Granqvist has returned to former club Helsingborgs on loan for the rest of the season. "This is by no means the end of the road for Andreas as far as this club is concerned," manager Steve Bruce said. "With the European Championships coming up in the summer, he needs action to have a chance of getting in the Sweden squad."