Tag Archives: habit

Petr Cech tells Chelsea players to adapt of quit under Rafa Benitez

Buck your ideas up or quit! Cech demands Chelsea stars' attitude improves under Benitez

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 26 November 2012

Petr Cech has delivered a stark ultimatum to any Chelsea player opposed to Roman Abramovich’s hiring and firing policy, saying: 'If you don’t like it, you can leave.'

The Blues goalkeeper also challenged his team-mates to help the eighth manager he has worked under win over the fans following the savage abuse directed at Rafael Benitez in the Spaniard’s first game in charge.

Abramovich’s habit of sacking managers has long been a fact of life for the likes of Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

Best foot forward: Petr Cech wants his team-mates get behind the manager

Best foot forward: Petr Cech wants his team-mates get behind the manager

But the ruthless axing of Roberto Di Matteo may have come as a shock for some of their younger team-mates, who were given only three days to get used to a new boss before yesterday’s top-of-the-table Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City.

Asked if it was difficult getting used to new managers, Cech said: 'You adapt or you’re out. It’s as simple as that.

'You’re here to play, you’re here to do what the club and manager wants you to do. If you don’t like it, you can leave.

'I’m here to play, I want to play so I do everything I can straight away so that the manager has no option but to put me in goal.

'That’s the way I work and is the way it works for everybody because, if you stay sad and don’t do the right things, you can end up on the bench and you’re not playing and it will be even more disappointing.

'As a player, you need to do the right thing all the time.'

West Bromwich need to capitalise on first away victory, says Steve Clarke

West Brom need to kick on after first away victory, says Baggies' boss Clarke

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UPDATED:

18:15 GMT, 10 November 2012

Wigan 1 West Brom 2

Read the match report here

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hailed his side's 'long overdue' first away win of the Barclays Premier League season at Wigan but warned his side must continue to guard against complacency.

James Morrison and an own goal from Gary Caldwell kept the Baggies in fifth place before Arouna Kone reduced the deficit for the Latics.

The Midlands outfit are level on points with fourth-placed Everton, with only unlucky losses to Manchester City and Newcastle preventing them from soaring even higher.

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

But Clarke said: 'I remember once as a player I was top of the league in November and ended up fighting relegation. The top division in England can come back quickly to bite you if you take your focus off it.

'This week we're happy with where we are. I know it sounds boring, but we just have to keep working from game to game.

'Our away performances have been as good as our home performances so this is long overdue. I don't really see it is a monkey off our back but it is nice to end it sooner rather than later and especially at such a difficult place as Wigan.

'Even though our away performances have been good, we have had a habit of losing late goals and dropping points and you start to think about that, so it was nice to hang on and get the 2-1 win.'

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Clarke went on to single out stand-in
keeper Boaz Myhill, who played his first senior game in 21 months in
place of the injured Ben Foster, and could continue to deputise against
Chelsea next weekend.

Clarke said: 'To talk too much about Ben coming back would be disrespectful to Boaz. He has waited a long time for his chance and he came in and did well. His handling was excellent he had a really assured performance.'

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez offered no excuses for his side's disappointing display, with Kone's close-range header moments after the Baggies' second goal the only bright spot on an otherwise below-par afternoon.

Martinez said: 'I don't think we are the sort of side that can get a result out of a scrappy performance. I don't think we were as good as we could have been today, and that is really the frustration.

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency

'We know West Brom are a very strong unit and play with real confidence and are a difficult unit to break down, so to concede two goals early on was really disappointing.

'We started well enough but even though we presented the right attitude and attacking threat, I don't think we were as good as we can be. Our movement wasn't as sharp and our attacking threat wasn't good enough.

'We are frustrated with our performance. We really wanted to win today on the back of two great results.

'I thought we created enough chances to get something out of the game, but we weren't lucky enough to get that positive result.'

Mario Balotelli latest: Roberto Mancini has "endless" patience with striker

My patience with Balotelli is endless! Mancini admits he has soft spot for Mario

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 21 September 2012

Roberto Mancini insists his patience with volatile Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is 'endless'.

Balotelli is expected to return to the squad for Sunday's visit of Arsenal after he was left out for the Champions League defeat at Real Madrid in midweek.

When City last met the Gunners in April a 1-0 defeat looked to have killed off their title hopes, Balotelli was sent off on 90 minutes and made a studs-up challenge on Alex Song that was missed by referee Martin Atkinson.

The trip: Mario Balotelli jokes about with James Milner

The trip: Mario Balotelli jokes about with James Milner

The push: Balotelli is pushed by Milner

The push: Balotelli is pushed by Milner

The make up: Balotelli hugs Millner

The make up: Balotelli hugs Millner

‘I thought it would be a six-game ban
after that game,’ admitted Mancini. ‘Three for the red card and three
for what he did to Song.’

Asked if he had been ready to wash his hands of the player, a smiling Mancini replied: ‘My patience with him is endless.’

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with Balotelli

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with Balotelli

Ready to go: Balotelli trains ahead of Sunday's game with Arsenal

Ready to go: Balotelli trains ahead of Sunday's game with Arsenal

No rift: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims there are no issues with him and Balotelli

No rift: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini claims there are no issues with him and Balotelli

Mancini confirmed the 22-year-old was upset over his omission in Madrid.

He said: ‘He was upset. It’s normal that a player who can’t play in the Bernabeu is unhappy.

Sometimes an important player like Mario or James Milner must sit in the stands.

‘It’s important the players understand this.’

It was believed that Mancini is fed
up with Balotelli's wild ways – including his smoking habit – and was
fast losing patience with the maverick 22-year-old, but Mancini played
down talk of a rift.

'There has been no argument, and no row. Absolutely not,' he said.

'Mario went in the stand only because
we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn't have
three strikers on the bench.'

Balotelli partied until the early
hours after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke. He was pictured with boxer
Amir Khan on a night out at Circle Club in Manchester.

Mancini was said to be angry as he wanted the forward to rest ahead of their opening European match against the Spanish giants.

As a punishment, Balotelli was
ordered to travel to the Bernabeu despite reportedly being told he
wouldn't play a part before stepping on the plane.

Another growing concern for Mancini is Balotelli's smoking habit – infuriating for a club that pay him over 100,000 per week.

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Mario Balotelli bust-up with Roberto Mancini denied by Manchester City boss

Me and Mario are fine… honest! Mancini gives Balotelli ANOTHER lifeline despite rift

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UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 21 September 2012

Mario Balotelli has been handed another lifeline at Manchester City after manager Roberto Mancini insisted he has NOT had a bust-up with the controversial striker.

The Italy international was dropped from City's European squad in mid-week and was forced to watch their 3-2 Champions league defeat to Real Madrid from the stands.

It was believed that Mancini is fed up with Balotelli's wild ways – including his smoking habit – and is fast losing patience with the maverick 22-year-old.

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with striker Mario Balotelli

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with striker Mario Balotelli

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid after being axed

But speaking at his weekly press
conference at the club's Carrington training ground, Mancini played down
talk of a rift between the pair.

'There has been no argument, and no row. Absolutely not,' he said.

'Mario went in the stand only because
we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn't have
three strikers on the bench.'

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Balotelli partied until the early
hours after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke. He was pictured with boxer
Amir Khan on a night out at Circle Club in Manchester.

Mancini was said to be angry as he wanted the forward to rest ahead of their opening European match against the Spanish giants.

As a punishment, Balotelli was
ordered to travel to the Bernabeu despite reportedly being told he
wouldn't play a part before stepping on the plane.

Acting tough: Roberto Mancini pictured in Alderley Edge on Wednesday afternoon

Acting tough: Roberto Mancini pictured in Alderley Edge on Wednesday afternoon

Another growing concern for Mancini is Balotelli's smoking habit – infuriating for a club that pay him over 100,000 per week.

Although it is not known just how
much the former Inter Milan star smokes, he has regularly been pictured
puffing on a cigarette away from his job.

Despite his apparent frustrations,
Mancini appears intent on giving Balotelli yet another chance and the
striker is in contention to return to the City side for this Sunday's
Barclays Premier League visit of unbeaten Arsenal.

Chelsea renew Samsung deal but few notice – Charles Sale

Little fanfare for big Chelsea deal with Samsung

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UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 6 September 2012

Chelsea have renewed their shirt sponsorship contract with Samsung for two years, but with surprisingly little publicity.

The deal, until the end of 2014-15, is understood to be worth around 18million a year but the Korean electronic giants waited until after Chelsea’s Champions League triumph before agreeing the contract on the deadline for taking up the option.

Chelsea explain the strange lack of promotion by saying it is an extension rather than the announcement of a new partnership. But other Barclays Premier League clubs would have made a lot more of such lucrative support.

Two more years: Samsung and Chelsea have renewed their partnership

Two more years: Samsung and Chelsea have renewed their partnership

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: England sign up for more of same as 1966 renew deal
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Charles Sale: Kenyon stands to cash in on any Chelsea Falcao deal
03/09/12

Charles Sale: Hammers relaxed about agent link despite swelling ranks
31/08/12

Charles Sale: Keep your shirt on, Tevez is told
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Charles Sale: The team-mates who still love Pietersen
18/08/12

Charles Sale: BBC claim tower block broadcast base was safe despite razor blade assault
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Charles Sale: ECB ask Twitter to shut second spoof
15/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

However, the numbers show just how far Chelsea are behind Manchester United on the commercial front. The Old Trafford kit sponsorship contract with Chevrolet, which the club trumpeted two years ahead of its start in 2014-15, is worth over 50m a season.

Ten other Premier League clubs whose shirt deals expire at the end of this season, including Tottenham, Fulham and Aston Villa, are already in a race to find new backers. But ‘second-tier’ clubs such as Fulham will be looking for a 5m to 6m-a-year sponsor — around a tenth of United’s record-breaking contract.

What Mario likes

Mario Balotelli’s fabled extravagance includes ordering regular takeaways from the well-known Wing’s Chinese restaurant in Manchester, which his chauffeur always collects for him. Apparently Mario likes his spare ribs to be taken off the bone.

Cook quits column

Alastair Cook has decided to terminate his recently signed columnist deal with Middle East Sports Talk magazine after being appointed England Test captain and is considering whether to continue with his longer-standing column in the Metro newspaper.

Incidentally the sports editor of the Dubai magazine is Ben Jacobs, who left Radio 5 Live after being blamed for tampering with a pre-recorded Roberto Martinez interview. Jacobs has always denied any involvement.

Considerations: Alastair Cook might give up his Metro column

Considerations: Alastair Cook might give up his Metro column

Discus debacle over

The persistence of the International Paralympic Committee in demanding the return of the gold medal wrongly awarded to Ukrainian discus thrower Mariia Pomazan after Omega botched the results, finally paid off on Thursday. After a week-long stand-off, Ukraine returned the gong.

Anderson censored

It is understood that ECB officials Hugh Morris, Steve Elworthy and Rhian Evans have all read Jimmy Anderson’s autobiography prior to its launch next week to ensure they are all happy with the contents.

This follows a nervousness around England players’ books after Graeme Swann’s life story, which wasn’t properly read by the Board before publication, exposed the differences in the England dressing room between Kevin Pietersen and other players.

It’s no surprise in the current climate that some KP mentions in the Anderson book failed to see the light of day.

Censored James Anderson (right) has a book coming out

Censored James Anderson (right) has a book coming out

Meanwhile, it didn’t go unnoticed in the cricket world that publicity ravenous Freddie Flintoff announced his professional boxing tilt on the eve of Warwickshire’s County Championship triumph, just as his cricket retirement coincided with Notts clinching the title two years ago.

Axed Vaughan takes it well

England Rugby 2015 World Cup chief executive Paul Vaughan was brutally dismissed by the RFU to make way for London 2012’s Debbie Jevans, despite axeman ER 2015 chairman Andy Cosslett saying ‘the planning is completely on schedule and stakeholders are comfortable’.

Yet Vaughan shows an unusual decency after such a bloodletting by offering to give Jevans any help he can in the build-up to the tournament.

Unpopular England

The FA have sold only 56,000 full-price tickets for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at Wembley next Tuesday. That includes 17,000 pre-sold to corporate ticket holders.

As a result of the worryingly poor uptake, 5,000 seats have been shifted in a block sale to the London 2012 volunteer Games Makers, who will be charged a reduced price of 20.12, and the FA will launch an advertising campaign over the weekend to increase the attendance.

Nigel De Jong: Manchester City must stop going behind

Kick the habit! De Jong warns falling behind will hamper Man City's title defence

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UPDATED:

13:24 GMT, 27 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong accepts the champions must kick their 'bad habit' of falling behind to mount a successful title defence.

City's 2-2 draw at Liverpool in their second Barclays Premier League game of the season was the fourth match in succession they had needed to wipe out a deficit.

The run stretches back to their dramatic title-clinching win over QPR at the end of last season and also includes the Community Shield win over Chelsea and opening league victory against Southampton.

Tighten up: De Jong has urged his team-mates to stop falling behind

Tighten up: De Jong has urged his team-mates to stop falling behind

City were outplayed for long spells at Anfield but snatched a point after the rejuvenated Carlos Tevez seized on a Martin Skrtel mistake 10 minutes from time.

De Jong told City TV: 'I don't know what it is. It is a bad habit. We picked that up from the last game of the season against QPR and have continued that in these first two games of the new season.

'We have to improve and show that we are up for the test wherever we go, away or at home.

'We have a lot of qualities in the squad but we just have to improve. It is not going to be an easy season. Wherever you go everyone wants to beat the champions. We have to stand tall with each other and improve.'

De Jong is now in the final year of his contract and his future has been the subject of speculation.

Yet with just four days of the summer transfer window remaining, the Dutchman was not speaking in the manner of someone whose departure from the club might be imminent.

Set backs: Liverpool took the lead twice during the clash at Anfield

Set backs: Liverpool took the lead twice during the clash at Anfield

Set backs: Liverpool took the lead twice during the clash at Anfield

Set backs: Liverpool took the lead twice during the clash at Anfield

Manager Roberto Mancini even said last week he expects the player to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

De Jong said: 'We played some decent football at times, not all the game but at least we tried a lot of times.

'It was a pity we let the goals in but on the other side we showed the determination to come back twice and get away with a point.

'It is not always easy to play football at Anfield. We knew that from the last couple of times.

'Liverpool are a different side when they play away than at home. They have still got (things) to prove but that is not my concern at the moment.

'My concern is we have to focus on our own squad and get those small things out to improve.'

De Jong produced a combative display as City twice came from behind after Skrtel and Luis Suarez goals to level through Yaya Toure and Suarez.
The 27-year-old was particularly impressed by Tevez who, after last season's well-documented problems, has returned fitter, focused and sharp.

Leveller: Tevez scored City's equaliser to ensure the club took a point

Leveller: Tevez scored City's equaliser to ensure the club took a point

The Argentinian has scored three goals in as many games and said he is fully committed to the club.

De Jong said: 'He looks quite slim. He always had a little belly but that is gone now at the moment! All credit to him.

'Don't get me wrong, it is always hard to get him off the ball, but I'd rather have a slim Tevez than one with a belly.

'As long as he scores goals for me it is okay. He is on fire at the moment and a Tevez on fire is good for any team wherever he is.

'I am just glad he is still part of this City team and if he continues like this he will score a lot of goals this season.'

The Saturday debate: What would you banish from Premier League football?

The Saturday debate: What would you banish from Premier League football

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UPDATED:

20:50 GMT, 24 August 2012

Getting shirty: Carlos Tevez should ditch the messages

Getting shirty: Carlos Tevez should ditch the messages

Paul Lambert has banned mobiles and laptops at Villa, what would you banish from Premier League football

Dominic King

The fair-play handshake. The accompanying music is dreadful, the ceremony is pointless and, looking at most players, they seem to feel it is totally unnecessary. It needs to go.

John Edwards

Players lifting their shirts to reveal a message or slogan after scoring a goal. Give it a rest, it is getting tedious in the extreme.

Laura Williamson

Spitting. An athlete's natural urge or just a disgusting bad habit It happens so frequently I'm inclined to think it's largely the latter – and it's certainly not the most pleasant thing to see on your TV screen.

Mark Alford

Fantasy football 2012

Post-match silence from referees. Let the dust settle – say 30 minutes after the whistle – then put the refs before the media. Give them a forum for explaining their decisions. It'll make them seem more human and assuage the abuse officials receive every weekend.

Alex Kay

The banner on the pitch at the start of the match which reads 'Get on with the Game'. Exactly, put the banner away and get on with the game. A nice sentiment but the message doesn't work.

Neil Ashton

It is time to ban Ashley Cole from screaming in the face of referees and other match officials every time a throw-in, free-kick, corner, foul or decision goes against him or his Chelsea team-mates. Cole is actually a nice guy but his behaviour towards referees remains one of football's ills. Time for that to stop.

Red mist: Chelsea's Ashley Cole should ditch the attitude

Red mist: Chelsea's Ashley Cole should ditch the attitude

Neil Moxley

Feigning injury. It is a horrible unsportsmanlike gesture aimed at nothing more than getting the opposition into trouble. In this age of blanket television coverage, it fools nobody either.

Sami Mokbel

Headphones. It would be one fewer reason for players to ignore reporters in mixed zones after games.

Time to go: Man United mascot Fred the Red

Time to go: Man United mascot Fred the Red

Ian Ladyman

The music that accompanies the teams when they emerge from the tunnel before kick-off. I don't want to hear Queen, Ian Brown, Pavarotti or some dreadful piece of opera. I would like to hear the crowd cheering. Is that too much to ask

Matt Barlow

Artificial atmosphere generation devices. For example, the man on microphone shouting player's first name and expecting the crowd to respond with the surname (doesn't work for Brazilians) and karaoke singalongs with words on giant screens for newcomers. I'd also consider banning big furry mascots.

Top Spin at the Test: Bell saved by the law after bizarre helmet reprieve

Top Spin at the Test: Bell saved by the law after bizarre helmet reprieve

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 27 March 2012

Ian Bell was granted a bizarre reprieve when he swept off-spinner Suraj Randiv straight at short leg. The ball ricocheted off the fielder’s shins and up on to his helmet, before wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene claimed the rebound. But Law 32.3(e) states that a catch is no longer fair if it has touched a ‘protective helmet’.

Reprieve: Bell

Reprieve: Bell

Six of the worst

England
lost six batsmen lbw in a single Test innings for only the fourth time
in their history, and the first since they drew with Pakistan at Karachi
in 1977-78. Back then, Geoffrey Boycott — out here commentating for
BBC radio — and his team couldn’t even blame the decision-review
system.

Swim's a Batty idea

England's players can at least cool down in the Indian Ocean after a hard day’s play.

There
are no team rules forbidding them from taking a dip, despite
off-spinner Gareth Batty having to be rescued from Galle waters near the
Lighthouse Hotel nine years ago after getting caught in rip-tides.

Strauss’s bad habit

Andrew Strauss keeps getting in — then getting himself out. Since the start of the India series last summer, he has reached double figures in 12 of his 13 Test innings, but only twice made fifties. This was the sixth time in that sequence he has fallen in the twenties or thirties.

Calamity Cook

Alastair Cook has the opposite problem. After Tuesday’s duck, nine of his last 13 Test innings have resulted in dismissal for 12 or fewer — but among the sequence was his epic 294 against India at Edgbaston, and a fighting 94 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Out early: Cook

Out early: Cook

Jimmy's fiver

Jimmy Anderson's first-innings figures of five for 72 mean he has now claimed a five-for against eight of the nine other Test-playing nations. The exception are Bangladesh — whom Anderson has only played against twice.

World’s best

South Africa may have fallen four wickets short of beating New Zealand 2-0 in Wellington, but a defeat for England here means they will have to win in Colombo next week to avoid slipping to No 2 in the rankings behind Graeme Smith’s team, who tour England this summer.

Chris Gunter and Garath McCleary wanted by Norwich

Norwich boss Lambert eyes double swoop for Forest duo

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 26 March 2012

Norwich are set to renew their interest in Chris Gutner as Paul Lambert prepares to launch a double swoop on Nottingham Forest.

The Canaries had two bids rejected for Gutner in January, but are expected to re-open the bidding process in the summer.

Lambert is also interested in the in-form Garath McCleary.

Four-star display: McCleary stunned Leeds with four goals

Four-star display: McCleary stunned Leeds with four goals

McCleary scored four times in Forest's recent 7-3 win over Leeds taking his tally to seven in as many games.

Forest boss Steve Cotterill however, remains keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

'We need to make sure we secure things with him sharply,' Cotterill said.

'He has a habit of giving me the odd dig in the ribs in the canteen after training but, if he wants to keep punching me in the ribs for another two or three years at Forest, I will be very happy with that.

'Hopefully we can make that happen.'

Chris Gutner and Garath McCleary wanted by Norwich

Norwich boss Lambert eyes double swoop for Forest duo

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UPDATED:

06:07 GMT, 26 March 2012

Norwich are set to renew their interest in Chris Gutner as Paul Lambert prepares to launch a double swoop on Nottingham Forest.

The Canaries had two bids rejected for Gutner in January, but are expected to re-open the bidding process in the summer.

Lambert is also interested in the in-form Garath McCleary.

Four-star display: McCleary stunned Leeds with four goals

Four-star display: McCleary stunned Leeds with four goals

McCleary scored four times in Forest's recent 7-3 win over Leeds taking his tally to seven in as many games.

Forest boss Steve Cotterill however, remains keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old.

'We need to make sure we secure things with him sharply,' Cotterill said.

'He has a habit of giving me the odd dig in the ribs in the canteen after training but, if he wants to keep punching me in the ribs for another two or three years at Forest, I will be very happy with that.

'Hopefully we can make that happen.'