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Burnley 0 Leicester 1 – match report

Burnley 0 Leicester 1: Nugent pounces on bad day for Clarets with Austin sidelined


17:36 GMT, 29 December 2012



17:54 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Nugent's 12th goal of the season was enough to see off Burnley and consolidate Leicester's place in the Championship's play-off zone.

Nugent struck shortly after the half hour as the Clarets' afternoon went from bad to worse.

The hosts had already received a hammer blow when leading scorer Charlie Austin, having passed a late fitness test on a muscle injury, was replaced by Martin Paterson after a mere eight minutes.

Decider: David Nugent (left) scored early on and his goal settled the game

Decider: David Nugent (left) scored early on and his goal settled the game

Match facts

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace (Vokes 57), Marney, McCann, Treacy (Stock 83), Ings, Austin (Paterson 8).

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Edgar, O'Neill, Bartley.

Booked: Duff, Trippier, Vokes.

Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky, James, Drinkwater, Marshall, Knockaert (Waghorn 61), Dyer (Gallagher 83), Nugent (Futacs 86).

Subs Not Used: Logan, King, Keane, Schlupp.

Booked: Dyer, Drinkwater.

Goals: Nugent 31.

Att: 13,050

Ref: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Click here for the latest Championship table, fixtures and results

And it was testament to Burnley's battling spirits that the Clarets made a real game of it despite the loss of their star man.

In fact, Burnley made the brighter
start of the two sides and Chris McCann tried his luck from distance
after only 11 minutes, only to see his effort go wide.

At the other end, Leicester's Ben
Marshall twice came close, first seeing an effort blocked by Kieran
Trippier and then bringing the best out of Burnley keeper Lee Grant who
tipped his 17th-minute effort round the post.

Paterson brought a save out of Kasper
Schmeichel as the Clarets went toe-to-toe with their promotion-hunting
rivals, while Leicester's Lloyd Dyer also tried his luck in an
end-to-end start at Turf Moor.

The Foxes went into the game without a
goal in three matches, but boss Nigel Pearson's long wait was finally
over after 31 minutes when Nugent struck home from close range following
an assist from Wes Morgan.

The lead could have been doubled just
three minutes later but McCann came to the rescue, blocking an 18-yard
effort from Anthony Knockaert.

Burnley had taken time to recover
their cool after conceding, but eight minutes from the break Danny Ings
just cleared the bar from inside the box to raise home fans' spirits.

Even so, the Clarets could have
conceded a second minutes from half time when Dyer again worked himself a
good shooting opportunity, only to lift his 12-yard effort over the

The Foxes picked up where they had
left off after the interval as Matty James saw Jason Shackell get in the
way of his effort as Pearson's side turned the screw at the start of
the second half.

But Schmeichel had to be at his alert
best to thwart Paterson an equaliser from point-blank range after 59
minutes as Sean Dyche's men sensed at least a point was still there for
the taking.

The Leicester keeper was again in the
thick of the action with 20 minutes left, this time comfortably saving
an on-target Ings effort from 18 yards.

Livewire Ings then saw an effort
blocked by Liam Moore as Leicester were forced back on the defensive,
Schmeichel then tipping another Paterson attempt round the post as the
Clarets battled to the end.

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run



22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

Ipswich 2 Burnley 1: match report

Ipswich 2 Burnley 1: Mick's dancing to DJ's tune as Campbell strikes late



17:45 GMT, 10 November 2012



17:45 GMT, 10 November 2012

DJ Campbell lifted Ipswich off the foot of the npower Championship table as his late goal secured a narrow win over Burnley.

Daryl Murphy had given the Tractor Boys the lead only for Sam Vokes to equalise before Campbell secured all three points with just three minutes remaining.

The result gives Mick McCarthy two wins from three since taking the manager's job at Portman Road while Sean Dyche suffered his first defeat as Burnley boss.

Off the bottom: DJ Campbell's strike earned Ipswich three vital points

Off the bottom: DJ Campbell's strike earned Ipswich three vital points

Match facts

Ipswich: Henderson, Chambers, Higginbotham, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N'Daw, Wellens (Emmanuel-Thomas 79), Reo-Coker, Murphy, Campbell (Mohsni 89).

Subs Not Used: Loach, Hewitt, Chopra, Scotland, Drury.

Booked: Reo-Coker.

Goals: Murphy 51, Campbell 87.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Lafferty, Wallace (Stanislas 65), Stock (Bartley 65), Marney (Vokes 76), McCann, Paterson, Austin.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Ings, Edgar, Mee.

Booked: Wallace,Paterson.

Goals: Vokes 80.

Att: 16,297

Ref: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).

Click here for latest Championship results, fixtures and table

The home side made two changes with
Tommy Smith and Guirane N'Daw brought into the side to replace Andy
Drury and the suspended Lee Martin.

Danny Lafferty made his first start
of the season for Burnley in place of Ben Mee who sustained a swollen
foot in the match against Leeds.

It was a quiet start but Campbell was
the first man to threaten for Ipswich as his turn and shot in the box
was saved by Lee Grant with N'Daw putting the rebound over the bar.

Martin Paterson tested Stephen
Henderson with a shot from a narrow angle but the goalkeeper made a
smart save with his feet at the near post.

Carlos Edwards and Richie Wellens
then combined well with Wellens' final ball finding Campbell in the
penalty area but Lee Grant made a smart save to tip his shot around the

Grant had his heart in his mouth as
he spilled Aaron Cresswell's cross but the ball was cleared off the line
before referee Mark Brown eventually awarded a free kick for a foul on
the goalkeeper by Murphy.

But just six minutes into the second
half Town took the lead as Grant was not given the benefit of the doubt
in a challenge with the Irish striker.

Wellens put a cross into the box and Murphy and Grant went up together with the former Sunderland man heading home.

Grant felt he was fouled and Burnley
players surrounded the referee but Brown was unmoved and Murphy was
awarded his first strike at Portman Road this season.

The home fans were calling for a red card as Ross Wallace brought down Cresswell but the referee produced a yellow.

Dyche brought on Junior Stanislas and
Marvin Bartley as he attempted to get his side back into the game but
barring a Stanislas shot over the bar, it was Ipswich who remained in control.

Dyche made his final substitution
bringing on Vokes and the striker had an almost instantaneous impact as
he levelled with 10 minutes to go.

Stanislas put a cross into the box and Vokes was credited with the final touch as he rose with Danny Higginbotham to meet the ball.

But in the 86th minute substitute
Jay-Emmanuel Thomas found Edwards who produced a wonderful cross for
Campbell to slot home and secure the win for Town.

Grant Holt buoyed by Norwich City win over Arsenal

The only way is up, says Holt after Norwich pick up first win of the season



13:12 GMT, 21 October 2012

Captain Grant Holt believes Norwich have given themselves the perfect platform to climb the Barclays Premier League table after battling to a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Carrow Road.

The Canaries recorded their first league win under new boss Chris Hughton after producing a hard-working display to capitalise on a lacklustre performance by the Gunners.

Holt reacted quickest after stand-in goalkeeper Vito Mannone had spilled Alex Tettey's 25-yard effort midway through the first half to slot his third goal in successive games.

Quick off the mark: Holt pounces on Mannone's error to slot home Norwich's winner

Quick off the mark: Holt pounces on Mannone's error to slot home Norwich's winner

Despite having plenty of possession Arsenal failed to stretch the hosts, who could have gone into the break with a two-goal cushion had defender Michael Turner not planted his close-range header wide from a corner.

After suffering heavy defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea, Holt feels Saturday's performance was the perfect tonic for the battles ahead, which continue at Aston Villa next weekend and former manager Paul Lambert.

'Everyone had been looking at the negatives from the games against Liverpool and Chelsea, but we had played well in those matches,' Holt said on Canaries Player.

'It is all about hard work and we have been putting the same endeavour in but not getting the rewards. We will take a lot from this result.

'No-one will have given us a chance of winning this and wrote us off too easily.

'We needed it and it has taken a while for us to wait for the performance and the win.

Ruddy good show: Norwich's goalkeeper John Ruddy celebrates

Ruddy good show: Norwich's goalkeeper John Ruddy celebrates

'We have to realise that is the only way we are going to get results in this division. If we keep doing it, then we will be all right.'

Norwich had not beaten Arsenal at home since Boxing Day, 1984.

However, Hughton knows all the hard work will count for nothing if his side fail to follow it up.

'It is about levels of consistency,' the former Newcastle and Birmingham boss said.

'We can talk well about what the team have done against Arsenal, but because of where we are we realise it is going to be a tough season so we know we have to show that level in more games than not.

'You have always got to try to get the balance right. On the back of a poor defeat last game you have then got to pick them up, and with this group it has not been so difficult.

Off the mark: Norwich recorded their first win of the season

Off the mark: Norwich recorded their first win of the season

'We accept we are not going to be in the top 10 and every game is going to be tough, but if we do it right then we have definitely got enough quality to do well enough.'

Wes Hoolahan impressed in his forward role just behind Holt, watched by Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

Hughton was capped 53 times by the Republic, playing at Euro 88 and being part of the 1990 World Cup squad, and knows just what ex-Shelbourne man Hoolahan, 30, can give a side.

'Wes is a super player,' he said. 'But I would think that it would not just take this performance for Trapattoni to be aware of that because of what Wes has done over the past few seasons.

'But if he needed any clarification of that, he will have got that.'

Chris Hughton hopes Norwich win will kickstart season

Happy Hughton hopes Norwich win will spur them on against Liverpool



10:10 GMT, 27 September 2012

Chris Hughton hopes Norwich's advance to the last 16 of the Capital One Cup can help them kickstart their Barclays Premier League campaign against Liverpool this weekend.

The Canaries paid tribute to former manager John Bond, who has died aged 79, with a minute's silence before kick-off against Doncaster at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.

And Norway midfielder Alexander Tettey marked his debut with a fine strike midway through the first half which proved enough to see off Dean Saunders' npower League One side and set up a home tie with Tottenham.

Decider: Alexander Tettey (left) scores Norwich's winner

Decider: Alexander Tettey (left) scores Norwich's winner

Norwich will now look to record their first Premier League victory under Hughton when Liverpool come to Norfolk on Saturday.

'Winning football matches is a nice habit for a club like us, it is difficult to win lots of games because of the division we are playing in,' said Hughton.

'You hope there is a feel-good factor you can go from one game to the next, and all of our efforts will now be on trying to get a win on Saturday.'

Hughton felt Wednesday's win was a fitting tribute to Bond, who was in charge for a seven-season spell from the mid-1970s, leading the Norfolk club to the League Cup final.

'When I came to this club in the summer, the first name you think of as former managers is John Bond. If I am able to be at this club anywhere near as long as John was, then I would be incredibly lucky. He will be thought of very fondly by a lot of people,' said Hughton, who was part of the Tottenham side which played against Bond's Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final.

'It was fitting that Norwich won, but also there was a nice respect from the crowd for a minute's silence.'

Although there was a start for captain Grant Holt, who has yet to score this season, Hughton made the expected sweeping changes, with recent signings Jacob Butterfield and goalkeeper Mark Bunn all coming in. On-loan Tottenham striker Harry Kane also started before being carried off in the second half with an ankle injury.

Norwich created plenty of chances, but were thwarted by Rovers goalkeeper Gary Woods and some last-gasp defending.

'At 1-0, they are still in the game, and then it can become a bit tense, so we could have made life easier for ourselves,' Hughton said.

Ready for more: Chris Hughton is gearing up to face Liverpool

Ready for more: Chris Hughton is gearing up to face Liverpool

On the next cup tie against his former club, Hughton said: 'It will be tough, but it will be a great occasion with a big crowd here against a quality Premier League team.'

Norwich hope Kane's injury will not prove too severe.

'There was no contact with the keeper, he just fell as he went for the ball,' Hughton said.

'We are hoping the news in the morning will not be so bad.'

Doncaster almost snatched an equaliser with two minutes left after full-back James Husband darted down the left and his low centre was stabbed goalward by substitute David Syers, when better contact would have seen the ball in the net rather than the grateful hands of Bunn.

Rovers boss Dean Saunders felt the South Yorkshire side had done enough to get a positive result.

He said: 'It was an upset waiting to happen. We created the chances, but never took them.'

Derby 1 Burnley 2: Charlie Austin punishes wasteful Rams

Derby 1 Burnley 2: Hot shot Austin punishes wasteful Rams



16:38 GMT, 22 September 2012

Charlie Austin continued his hot streak with a goal in each half to give Burnley a dramatic late win at Derby.

Eddie Howe's Clarets suffered defeat
in their previous three npower Championship away games and fell behind
once more after Jamie Ward pounced on a loose ball in the 20th minute.

Right Charlie: Austin (second left) heads the winner for Burnley

Right Charlie: Austin (second left) heads the winner for Burnley

Match facts

Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Buxton, Keogh, Roberts, Coutts, Bryson, Hendrick, Hughes (Jacobs 77), Sammon (Robinson 80), Ward. Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Tyson, Doyle, O'Connor, Gjokaj.

Goals: Ward 20.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Edgar, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Marney, Stanislas (Stewart 46), Paterson (Vokes 61), Austin (Bartley 90). Subs Not Used: Jensen, Mills, Stock, Long.

Booked: Mee.

Goals: Austin 32, 89.

Att: 21,347

Ref: Oliver Langford (W Midlands).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Austin equalised shortly after the half-hour – his eighth goal in as many games and, had Rams forward Conor Sammon displayed Austin's prowess in the penalty area after half-time, victory might have gone to Nigel Clough's side.

But former Swindon striker Austin made it nine for the campaign when he stooped to head Chris McCann's 89th-minute cross past Frank Fielding and give Burnley their first points on the road this term.

Austin recovered from the hip injury that ruled him out of Wednesday night's loss at Leicester to return to the visitors' line-up along with defender Ben Mee and winger Ross Wallace as Joseph Mills, Cameron Stewart and Brian Stock all dropped to the bench.

James O'Connor did likewise for Derby as Jake Buxton came in to partner skipper Richard Keogh at centre-back.

Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant produced a superb save to thwart his former club when Will Hughes thumped a powerful volley low to his right in the 10th minute.

Grant then kept out Craig Bryson's header from Paul Coutts' cross, but the Rams claimed a 20th-minute lead.

Vintage Clarets: Charlie Austin (left) celebrates with team-mate Ross Wallace

Vintage Clarets: Charlie Austin (left) celebrates with team-mate Ross Wallace

Coutts' corner was only half-cleared and Ward swivelled on the penalty spot to fire home through a forest of legs.

Moments later Grant tipped around the post from Sammon before opposite number Fielding was called into action, denying Martin Paterson on the counter-attack.

But there was little Fielding could do when Austin was left unmarked to smash in McCann's centre after Ross Wallace's cross was blocked.

The momentum suddenly shifted and Burnley came agonisingly close to a half-time lead when Mee thudded a header against the bar from Kieran Trippier's right-wing cross.

Despite the match developing a pleasing end-to-end feel, chances were at a premium early in the second half.

Around the hour Sammon was inches away from finding a decisive touch when Ward swept in an inviting ball from the left.

Former Wigan striker Sammon shot tamely at Grant with 15 minutes to play but the Clarets stopper was more fully extended shortly afterwards, thwarting Bryson from point-blank range.

Burnley were on the rack and Michael Jacobs, on for Hughes, found Sammon to head narrowly over in the 80th minute.

Then, a minute from time, Austin ensured Clough's men paid for their profligacy, and a determined stoppage-time rally could not stop Burnley leapfrogging them in the table.

Burnley 5 Peterborough 2: Austin"s brace piles on the woe to basement club Posh

Burnley 5 Peterborough 2: Austin's brace piles on the woe to basement club Posh



16:51 GMT, 15 September 2012

Charlie Austin scored two second-half goals for Burnley as they secured a 5-2 victory over Peterborough in an exciting npower Championship encounter at Turf Moor.

The match was evenly poised in the first half with the score 2-2 at the interval, but Burnley fired home three unanswered goals in the second period to secure their second league win of the season and leave Peterborough still waiting for their first.

Burnley took the lead on seven minutes as Chris McCann's header from six yards beat Peterborough keeper Robert Olejnik.

No wonder he's smiling: Burnley boss Eddie Howe

No wonder he's smiling: Burnley boss Eddie Howe

Match facts

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mills, Wallace (Stewart 63), Marney, McCann, Stanislas, Austin (Stock 87), Paterson (Vokes 62). Subs not used: Jensen, Edgar, Bartley, Mee.

Booked: Mills.

Scorers: McCann 7, Bostwick 39 (og), Austin 74,81 (pen), Stanislas 86.

Peterborough: Olejnik, Little (Ferdinand 84), Brisley (Zakuani 59), Bostwick, Alcock, Frecklington, McCann, Mendez-Laing, Tomlin, Boyd (Sinclair 69), Barnett. Subs not used: Day, Newell, Knight-Percival, Clarke-Harris.

Booked: Olejnik.

Scorers: Tomlin 20 (pen), Mendez-Laing 23.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Attendance: 10,979.

Posh responded to going behind by launching several attacks on Burnley's goal with Grant McCann's strike from 18 yards out blocked by goalscorer Chris McCann in the eighth minute, before Lee Grant saved George Boyd's long-range effort four minutes later.

Peterborough's pressure paid off in the 19th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Lee Tomlin calmly slotted home, beating Grant with a shot into the bottom left side of the goal.

Four minutes later, Peterborough took the lead when Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's left-footed effort beat Grant from 12 yards out after Tomlin headed the ball across from the right channel.

Seven minutes before the break an Michael Bostwick own goal enabled Burnley to draw level after the midfielder put the ball into his own net from six yards out.

MacAnthony to consider his future after defeat

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony took to Twitter in the aftermath of the defeat, casting doubt over his future with the club.

'Im off home from office now,I hear what lot of posh fans saying & empathize so i'll have serious think about my own position over weekend -'

'And my own shortcomings/failings in helping manager & playing squad this season. I only want whats best for them & posh fans. Cheers all!', he said.

Both sides remained unchanged at the interval and they started the second half brightly with several chances apiece in the first 10 minutes after the re-start, although none of them resulted in a goal.

Burnley defender Joseph Mills was booked for unsporting behaviour in the 54th minute, while Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson was forced to make the first substitution of the game with Gabriel Zakuani replacing the injured Shaun Brisley.

Burnley manager Eddie Howe responded with two substitutions of his own as Ross Wallace was replaced by Cameron Stewart and Sam Vokes came on for Martin Paterson.

The home side had a couple of chances courtesy of Junior Stanislas and Stewart before Ferguson made his second substitution as Emile Sinclair came on for George Boyd in the 69th minute.

Burnley's dominance paid off in the 74th minute when Austin gave his side a 3-2 lead from 18 yards out after fine work by Chris McCann down the left flank.

The Clarets put the result beyond doubt when Austin scored his second goal of the game from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Olejnik to make the score 4-2 10 minutes from the final whistle.

The icing on the cake for Burnley came five minutes from time when Stanislas scored from 12 yards out after being fed from the left channel by Mills.

Grant Holt on hold for new Norwich boss Chris Hughton

Holt on hold for new Norwich boss Hughton



20:24 GMT, 7 June 2012

Chris Hughton is determined to keep top scorer Grant Holt at Carrow Road after taking over as Norwich City manager on Thursday.

Former Newcastle and Birmingham boss Hughton stressed that Holt, 31, has two years left on his contract and is not for sale.

Carrow king: Chris Hughton is the new Norwich manager

Carrow king: Chris Hughton is the new Norwich manager

The striker, Norwich’s player of the season for the past three years, submitted a transfer request last month, which was swiftly rejected.

Hughton, 53, said: ‘Grant Holt is very much a player I would like to stay at this football club. That type of player is very difficult to replace. He is contracted to this club. I absolutely would like him here. I have not had the opportunity to speak with him but that will be one of the priorities.

‘Any manager wants to keep his best players and I look forward to working with Grant.’

Hughton had seemed certain to succeed Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion but the deal fell through after Albion refused to pay Birmingham compensation for the manager’s backroom staff.

Norwich took advantage of that reticence and agreed a package of around 2million with Birmingham to take Hughton, his assistant Colin Calderwood, coach Paul Trollope and chief scout Ewan Chester to Norfolk.

Tough: Paul Lambert is a tricky act to follow for Hughton (right)

Tough: Paul Lambert is a tricky act to follow for Hughton (right)

Wantaway: Canaries captain Grant Holt handed in a transfer request last month

Wantaway: Canaries captain Grant Holt handed in a transfer request last month

Andre Villas-Boas pockets 12m for early Chelsea exit as Roman Abramovich"s spending spirals

Villas-Boas pockets 12m for early Chelsea exit as Abramovich's spending spirals



21:30 GMT, 31 May 2012

Andre Villas-Boas has been paid a staggering 12million in compensation for being fired by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

The Stamford Bridge club confirmed the Portuguese coach, who lasted just seven months, has now settled his claim with them, after being sacked in March.

No wonder he's smiling! Didier Drogba pats Andre Villas-Boas before Chelsea's Champions League tie in Naples

No wonder he's smiling! Didier Drogba pats Andre Villas-Boas before Chelsea's Champions League tie in Naples

Villas-Boas is free to work again after Abramovich agreed to the settlement terms and he is expected to take charge at Roma during the summer.

Abramovich’s hire-and-fire approach has now cost the Champions League winners 76m in five years on management and coaching staff.

The figure of 64m, detailed in Chelsea’s latest accounts, took the pay-offs of Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti into consideration.

Chelsea also had to fork out a 10m ‘transfer fee’ when they hired Villas-Boas after he won the treble in his first season with Porto.

It means the total bill for Villas-Boas, including his 125,000-a-week salary, stands at 32m for just seven months’ work.

Avram Grant to join England squad at Auschwitz – Charles Sale

Avram set to join England squad for harrowing trip to Auschwitz



21:47 GMT, 30 May 2012

Football manager Avram Grant, whose father Meir survived the Holocaust, will join the England party on their trip to the Auschwitz concentration camp next week.

Grant, the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Chelsea boss, has just returned from Auschwitz where he told the BBC’s Dan Walker his family’s harrowing story, that includes two of them dying at the death camp, for a BBC Radio 5 Live documentary Avram’s Journey.

But Grant, who makes an annual pilgrimage to the Polish site to remember his family, is keen to make another visit so he can share his memories with England manager Roy Hodgson and the players. Grant said: ‘I spoke to Roy and I told him that when England come to Auschwitz I would love to be part of it and take them around. No one leaves there the same person.’

Trip: Avram Grant will join the England squad at Auschwitz

Trip: Avram Grant will join the England squad at Auschwitz

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Meanwhile, Ukraine’s toxic reputation ahead of Euro 2012, demonstrated by the football crowd racism filmed by Panorama, is likely to impact on the high sports politics ambitions of the country’s champion pole vaulter Sergei Bubka.

It was evident at the SportAccord conference in Quebec that Bubka, who is expected to bid for the presidency of the IOC in 2013, was busy consulting PR specialists over how best he can combat the fall-out from the huge negativity surrounding Ukraine’s joint hosting of the European Championship.

Certainly outbreaks of racism during the tournament will kibosh Ukraine’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Southgate to stay in studio

Gareth Southgate, who will be named the FA’s new technical director before Euro 2012, is due to be an ITV pundit on England matches during the tournament. But any further involvement Southgate might have with ITV will not involve commentating on England due to the conflict. However, manager Roy Hodgson’s assistant Gary Neville will continue to give his views to Sky on England players during Premier League and Champions League matches.

Team player: Gareth Southgate (left) will be in the ITV studio for Euro 2012

Team player: Gareth Southgate (left) will be in the ITV studio for Euro 2012

Barber in business

Paul Barber, who has worked for the FA, Tottenham and Vancouver Whitecaps, is yet to start in his new role as Brighton chief executive.
But Barber is taking advantage of the Football League junket summer meeting in Portugal’s Vilamoura this week to meet up with Brighton owner Tony Bloom and find out more about Championship football.

Pompey in trouble

Portsmouth’s battle this summer to avoid liquidation will draw fresh attention to the scandalous transfer that highlights the serial mismanagement of the troubled club.

Pompey were already on their knees financially when it was somehow agreed by then chief executive Peter Storrie, on transfer deadline day at the end of August 2009, to pay Israel defender Tal Ben Haim a basic 8m over four years plus image rights. Ben Haim, whose agent is Pini Zahavi, has turned down an offer of 350,000 to leave the stricken Fratton Park club with a League One season remaining on his ludicrous deal.

Money, money, money: Tal Ben Haim (centre) signed a huge deal at Portsmouth

Money, money, money: Tal Ben Haim (centre) signed a huge deal at Portsmouth

No-olds-barred Greg

Wealthy venture capitalist Greg Hutchings is considering legal action against the England Hockey Board for not allowing him to represent his country at the Masters World Cup this summer in a younger age band than the over 65s.

The 65-year-old, who has a hockey pitch in his garden, wants to be considered for the over 60s. An EHB spokesman said: ‘We have been in discussion with Greg Hutchings for some time about changes to our eligibility rules.’

Meanwhile, the mooted challenge of another hockey devotee in Richard Leman, president of GB Hockey, for the chairmanship of the British Olympic Association looks to be a stalking horse operation.

Current chairman Colin Moynihan and his staunch BOA board ally Leman have known each other since going to the same prep school, Feltonfleet in Cobham.

Sandwich makeover

Even the humble cheese sarnie is getting a makeover for London 2012. The organisers’ sample spectator menus for inside the park describe this bog-standard 3.80 offering as: ‘Red Leicester British Cheese with British apple chutney and farm assured lettuce on Oxfordshire bread.’