Emmanuel Adebayor hopes to atone for his injury-time header that hit the crossbar against Milan in the return leg in Italy on 4 March. "I cannot even explain what happened," the Togo forward said. "That is football, and is what we are made of. Hopefully I will put one in at the San Siro."
Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is in contention to return for the match at Reading on Sunday. "Gabby is fine," the Villa manager Martin O'Neill said of the 21-year-old. "He has got a full week of training in and we will see how he is. He has been raring to go now and has been for some days."
The club are to investigate the possibility of building a new stadium. "Talks continue with the city council," Blues managing director Karren Brady confirmed. "We are in the process of appointing a master planner and someone to look at the land to see if a stadium can become a reality."
Defender Stephen Warnock has praised the influence of team-mate Andre Ooijer. "He's a fantastic player and he's always talking and organising the players around him," he said. "He's also great in the dressing room – he always gees people up – and he's a great character."
Gary Megson says the club have ended their interest in the Toulouse foward Johan Elmander after being linked with a £9m move for the striker in last month's transfer window. "His club wanted £22m," the Trotters manager said of the 26-year-old Swedish international. "It was never going to happen at that price."
Midfielder Michael Ballack feels the exclusion of John Terry and Frank Lampard from the match with Olympiakos this week shows the "untouchable" label no longer exists at Stamford Bridge. "John and Frank have been injured and it was a big game against Olympiakos," the German said. "It was a big decision from the coach."
Roy Carroll is looking forward to returning to his former club Wigan tomorrow. The 30-year-old spent four seasons with the Latics prior to joining Manchester United in 2001. "I haven't been there since I left so it will be nice to play against them again," the goalkeeper said. "I'm looking forward to it."
The striker Jose Baxter and goalkeeper Adam Davies impressed in England Under-16s' 2-1 defeat by Netherlands on Wednesday. "It is always great to see boys represent their country," Ray Hull, the academy director, said. "I was pleased to observe both players acquitting themselves very well."
Paul Konchesky believes the squad are displaying a unity on the field that will help them avoid relegation. "Maybe a lot of us don't spend time together away from football," he said. "But at the training ground and Craven Cottage we stick together and that's what we've got to do for the rest of the season."
The defender Jamie Carragher has admitted that the club's League form has fallen short of what is required. "There's something about us when we play in Europe but we've got a job to do in the Premiership and we have to make sure we don't lose sight of that."
Sven Goran Eriksson remains hopeful of being able to name midfielder Michael Johnson in the side to face Everton on Monday. "We'll wait and see, but he is training," the Swede said. "He had some slight [abdominal] pain on Monday but today he looked good again."
Terry Butcher, who worked as a pundit during the African Nations Cup, believes the club have signed an "exceptional striker" in Manucho given the Angolan's fine performances. "He is a big lad with great ability," Butcher said. "He has the potential to develop into an exceptional striker."
Manager Gareth Southgate believes Brazilian midfielder Fabio Rochemback is enjoying the best period of his three-year spell at the Riverside. "I must say he's been excellent for us," Southgate said. "I think he's playing the best football he's played since he's been with us."
The Magpies squad need to pull together to improve their league performances, starting with the match against Manchester United tomorrow, says Shay Given. "We're in a bit of trouble," he said. "It's all about everybody sticking together and working hard to get us away from the bottom."
The goalkeeper David James believes the current Pompey team are the most resilient side he has played for. "I don't mean this as a criticism of my previous sides," the 37-year-old said. "But this group aren't worried about anything. There's no fear among them but we're not reckless either."
Manager Steve Coppell has called on his squad to improve on recent performances, starting with the visit of Aston Villa on Sunday. "It's time to stand up and be counted," he said. "It's no good talking about potential, it's time for action. There are 12 games to go and we need points."
Roy Keane admits he has not been able to rest players this season due to the small squad at his disposal. "We have had to ask the lads to push their bodies," the manager said. "At this stage of the season, players may be physically and mentally tired. Ideally you want a bigger, stronger squad."
Midfielder Tom Huddlestone believes the club can overcome the odds and beat Chelsea in Sunday's Carling Cup final. "At the end of the day it is a football game we've got to win," the 21-year-old said. "Regardless of the opposition, if we play our own way we will win the game."
West Ham United
Striker Craig Bellamy could be out for a further six weeks after undergoing a second operation on an abdominal injury yesterday. The 28-year-old has made just eight starts since a £7.5m move from Liverpool last July and has featured just once this year, a substitute appearance during the 1-0 defeat at Wigan on 2 February.
Former Latics manager Paul Jewell believes current incumbent Steve Bruce can help the club avoid relegation and progress next season. "In my opinion they have the best team of the bottom six," he said. "The only thing they haven't been able to do is string a few results together, to shake off the clubs below them."Reuse content