Today in the Premier League

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Kolo Touré fears his country's progression in the African Nations Cup could impact on his club form. "Later rounds may have extra-time and it will be very hot," the Ivory Coast defender said ahead of the semi-final with Egypt tomorrow. "That is not ideal considering the schedule we've got."'

Aston Villa

Gabriel Agbonlahor said his injury-enforced absence from the England squad for tonight's match with Switzerland will give him more determination to gain a recall. "I am really disappointed," he said. "It's annoying. But to have been picked in Capello's squad means I am in his plans, which is a boost."

Birmingham City

Martin Taylor hopes his performance in last week's 1-1 draw with Derby can earn him a regular place. "I wanted to show the manager what I could do," the defender said after replacing Radhi Jaidi. "I've now got a chance and hopefully I can stay in the team for a bit and show what I can do."

Blackburn Rovers

Stephen Warnock's omission from Fabio Capello's England squad surprised assistant manager Mark Bowen. "Capello was at our game against Aston Villa when Stephen was easily the best player," Bowen said. "We were hoping that he'd get a call-up, but obviously that's not the case now."

Bolton Wanderers

Gary Megson said the club have funds to enhance the quality of the squad further in the summer. Gary Cahill, Matt Taylor and Tamir Cohen arrived last month, following the £15m departure of Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea. "What we spent in the transfer window wasn't the money we got for Nicolas," he said. "It was already here."


Didier Drogba said he has resolved his differences with the club and has no intention to leave Stamford Bridge. "I am content," the forward said following a number of reports suggesting he was to move to Milan or Barcelona in the summer. "It is not the case that I am in conflict with the leaders of Chelsea. Today I work in very good conditions."

Derby County

The Rams could be without Claude Davis (knee)and Stephen Pearson (hamstring and groin) for Saturday's visit of Tottenham Hotspur. "It's a nightmare time," the manager Paul Jewell said. "We've got 10 players away at the moment. You just hope international players all return fit."


David Moyes has paid tribute to midfielder Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard was awarded the Liverpool Echo Sports Personality of the Year award. "It is a great individual honour," Moyes said. "It's great for Everton that Mikel has been recognised in the city for the work he does for us as a team."


Former Lens manager Guy Roux has criticised the club over the failed transfer of Rangers forward Daniel Cousin. "They are wasting Fifa's time," Roux said. The 31-year-old has appeared for Lens and Rangers this season and playing for a third club would violate the world governing body's rulings.


Rafael Benitez has praised goalkeeper Jose Reina after he eclipsed Ray Clemence's Reds clean sheet record. The Spaniard has kept 50 shut-outs in 92 games, three fewer than it took Clemence. "He's beaten one of the greats," the manager said. "It's a terrific performance."

Manchester City

Darius Vassell said he is happy to remain at Eastlands, despite the club signing two new strikers in the transfer window. "The only time I am going to leave is when the club wants to take a new direction," the 27-year-old said. "Or I don't feel I can contribute in a positive way."

Manchester United

Lyon goalkeeper Grégory Coupet said he is worried about facing the Reds in the Champions League later this month. "Manchester scares me a lot," the 35-year-old said. "Let's remember what they did to Roma. I don't really want to concede seven goals. We do not have strength in defence."


Afonso Alves has promised supporters he will be a success at the Riverside. "I'm really happy to have joined," the striker said, after being granted a visa yesterday. "I promise there will be many goals before the summer." The forward could make his debut against Fulham on Saturday.

Newcastle United

Kevin Keegan said he is eager to secure the future of Charles N'Zogbia after Tottenham became the latest club to be linked with the midfielder. "He's a gem of a lad," Keegan said. "He never complains but the signs are he's not happy. He's got a five-year contract, but we'll have to revisit it."


Milan Baros has insisted he will not be daunted by the competition for places within the Pompey squad. "I don't expect to play every single game," the 26-year-old forward said. "Competition will be large but they have not bought me to sit on the bench. I have never been afraid of competition."


Manager Steve Coppell believes the return of Senegal defender Ibrahim Sonko from the African Nations Cup will give his side a lift. "His presence alone gives us more stature," the manager said. "The timing is significant, he can have a week of training, and the chance to recover."


Daryl Murphy is relieved to be staying at the Stadium of Light following a bid from Queen's Park Rangers during the transfer window. "I think maybe the gaffer realised I do have something to offer the team and the club," he said. "I was delighted when he said he wanted to keep me here."

Tottenham Hotspur

Radek Cerny hopes his recent performances earn him a permanent deal at White Hart Lane. The Czech's long-term loan from Slavia Prague expires in the summer. "I would love to stay at Tottenham," the 33-year-old said. "It just depends on them if they will come up with something."

West Ham United

The midfielder Julien Faubert has claimed the former Italy manager Giovanni Trapattoni could be coming to Upton Park. The 68-year-old has been linked with the Director of Football role. "His arrival is possible," Faubert said. "He would be a huge boost for our tactics. We have gaps, on the defending and positioning."

Wigan Athletic

Latics manager Steve Bruce has revealed Arsène Wenger recommended midfielder Wilson Palacios to him. The Arsenal manager phoned Bruce when he was at Birmingham, praising the Hondurian. "He [Wenger] had him on trial at Arsenal," Bruce said. "He said he already had eight midfielders, but reckoned this boy really had something."