Today in the Premier League

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Jens Lehmann feels the club could miss out on silverware this season due to a lack of experience. "The current squad doesn't have the experience because they haven't done it," he said. "There are some very good players, but it is not only quality that matters but stamina and experience as well."

Aston Villa

Martin O'Neill said he empathised with supporter's frustrations at Villa's failure to beat Sunderland on Saturday and enhance their European aspirations. "It was particularly disappointing because it was the opportunity for us to get back on track," he said, "to force the pace and force a win."

Birmingham City

Manager Alex McLeish believes Olivier Kapo will be "chomping at the bit" to return for the Blues against Manchester City this weekend after a month out with a torn hamstring. "The only time we want players back training with us is if they are ready to push for a first-team spot," he said.

Backburn Rovers

Jason Roberts has promised supporters there is "a lot more to come" from his game. "If you play games then you improve and get your timing back," the forward said. "I'm feeling better with every game, and every minute I play. Hopefully a few more opportunities will come my way this season."

Bolton Wanderers

Abdoulaye Meité has turned down the opportunity to join Ipswich on loan despite the Trotters agreeing a deal with the Championship club. The defender's future at the Reebok appears in doubt after he refused to reappear for the second half of the 2-0 defeat at Manchester United last week.


Frank Lampard said the players attempted to block supporters' criticism of manager Avram Grant from their minds as they beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday. "The fans are emotional and call it as they see it," Lampard said. "You hear it but don't take it in. What matters is what you do on the pitch."

Derby Ccounty

Chairman Adam Pearson feels manager Paul Jewell will not allow recent off-the-field revelations to affect his relationship with the club. "The story is from six years ago and it is a private matter for Paul to deal with," Pearson said. "As far as I am concerned his family life is very important to him."


Leighton Baines said Sunday's Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield will play a pivotal role in the rest of the Toffees' season. "We know how much it could mean for the fans," he said. "We know if we get a good result there we are right back in it and they have some tough games to come."


Roy Hodgson has instructed his players to keep believing after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle left them four points from safety. "In seven matches a lot of things can happen," the manager said. "We've got to keep believing our football can get us out and we've got to hope that we can put it right."


John Arne Riise admitted Javier Mascherano "got a little too hot" over his dismissal at Manchester United on Sunday, but questioned the controversial decision. "I don't know what was said," the Norwegian said, "but the referee should have called Steven Gerrard to him before this."

Manchester City

Sven Goran Eriksson believes his foreign imports will perform better next season after getting used to the English game. "Elano will be better, as will all the players we bought," he said. "If you haven't played in the Premier League before it can be difficult to adapt."

Manchester United

The midfielders Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani have both pulled out of the Portugal squad to play Greece in a friendly tomorrow after the pair picked up knocks during Sunday's 3-0 victory over Liverpool. Ronaldo is suffering from pains in his left leg, while Nani pulled a muscle in his right leg.


Robert Huth has been forced to pull out of the Germany squad for tomorrow's friendly with Switzerland with an inflamed left foot. "The important thing is to get healthy again as quickly as possible," the 23-year-old defender said. "I think I still have a chance of making the Euro team."

Newcastle United

Michael Owen believes the 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday can spur the club on to a strong finish to the season. "It is a monkey off our backs, so to speak," the captain said. "You could sense the relief, not only among the fans, but the players, staff, everyone. Hopefully, we can go on a little run."


Glen Johnson admits an extended run in the Pompey first-team has helped his game. "This is the first time I have been playing regularly, except for when I first joined Chelsea, which is a long time ago now," he said. "Harry [Redknapp, the manager] is playing me every week which I am thriving on."


Steve Coppell believes the Royals have regained their form at the right moment after they overcame an eight-game losing streak to record three wins in their last four matches. "If it had gone a little bit deeper there would have been no coming back," the manager said.


Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards have both pulled out of the Trinidad and Tobago squad to face Jamaica this week after picking up injuries. "Kenwyne could not train on Friday because he has a virus," manager Roy Keane said. "Carlos has a groin injury so he won't be fit to travel."

Tottenham Hotspur

Seville striker Luis Fabiano has been linked with a move to the club. The Brazilian's family were recently held at gunpoint during a burglary at his Seville home, leaving the forward contemplating a move away from the country and a possible reunion with coach Juande Ramos.

West Ham United

James Tomkins believes his debut and that of Freddie Sears demonstrates the strength of the Hammers' academy. "Freddie deserved his chance," the defender said. "And you have also got Jack Collison and Junior Stanislas coming through. It is looking good for the academy."

Wigan Athletic

Steve Bruce could be without a number of players for the trip to Portsmouth next weekend. Chris Kirkland [back] fell awkwardly during the 3-1 defeat at Blackburn last week and Erik Edman [knee] could be sidelined for six months, while Wilson Palacios and Michael Brown both serve bans.