Sport In a stew: Downing is counting on a Cup win to build confidence

Being known as a "Cup team" is a mixed compliment, implying the ability to raise your game for one-off occasions, but never to sustain it. If Wigan Athletic, FA Cup winners relegated within a week, are newcomers to the genre, West Ham United have been at it rather longer.

Bent looks an England hit after forgetting about the misses

Villa striker shrugs off Redknapp jibe and is a firm favourite with Capello after three goals in three games

Ashley Young focusing on England despite uncertainty over future

Aston Villa forward Ashley Young has vowed to focus fully on England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on Saturday despite uncertainty over his future and that of his club.

Liverpool and Tottenham in race to sign Brad Friedel

Liverpool are facing competition from Tottenham in the bid to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel, Press Association Sport understands.

Stewart Downing refuses to enter Aston Villa talks

Aston Villa winger and player of the year Stewart Downing is refusing to commit to a new contract with the midlands club.

Dalglish rues lost Europa spot

Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal misery continues with defeat by Villa

Arsenal 1 Aston Vila 2

Aston Villa open contract talks with Stuart Downing

Aston Villa have opened talks with winger Stewart Downing over a new contract - and the player has intimated he would like to stay at the midlands club.

Emile Heskey fortunate after row with referee

Aston Villa 1 Wigan 1

Downing aims to boost Houllier recovery

Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has targeted three points against Stoke tomorrow in a bid to provide a boost to absent manager Gerard Houllier.

Houllier finds the humour in Villa's relegation battle

Everton 2 Aston Villa 2

Houllier denies there's an attitude problem at troubled Villa

Manager claims there is no need for crackdown on indiscipline and says break has done club good

Jack Wilshere plays down burn-out fears

Jack Wilshere has played down fears of him suffering footballing burn-out if plays for England's Under-21s in this summer's European Championships.

Fabio Capello team selection proves overhaul promise says James Milner

James Milner has claimed Fabio Capello's team selection for England's 1-1 draw with Ghana proves he is keeping his promise to overhaul his squad in the wake of their World Cup debacle.

Carroll's emphatic finish masks a hesitant display

Andy Carroll is learning to live with the pressure of expectation, following his £35m transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool in January. His well-taken goal in the 43rd minute was his first since December, and completed what will be seen as a promising second cap for the young Geordie.

Bent and Lampard snuff out Wales fire

Wales 0 England 2: Raucous home support quickly silenced as early goals make it easy for England
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
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What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

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The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
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Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

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Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

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Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
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A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise

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Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
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The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

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We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

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The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

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