Tag Archives: leeds

Neil Warnock won"t be missed by referees – GRAHAM POLL

Bully Warnock behaved like a spoilt kid in a supermarket… I'm glad he's gone

By
Graham Poll

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 4 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 April 2013

Top-flight referees up and down the country will be breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of Neil Warnock delivering on his threat to retire from management.

Warnock has been the bane of referees’ lives; almost imploding on the touchline when a throw-in went against his team and never failing to blame the official whenever his team lost.

He used to try to justify these attacks by claiming he was a qualified referee. Well, taking the exam is one thing but unless you are officiating matches regularly, you are not a referee.

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Bully: Sportsmail's Poll beileves Warnock at times behaved like a spoilt child

Bully: Sportsmail's Poll beileves Warnock at times behaved like a spoilt child

Of course, Warnock and I have
history. He was the manager at Old Trafford when his Sheffield United
side lost 1-0 to Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final in April 2003.

According to Warnock, that defeat was
my fault, of course. I was also the referee who dismissed Warnock at
Bramall Lane in 2006 when the Blades were playing Leeds United.

Warnock should have been celebrating
his team winning promotion, which would allow him his first opportunity
to try his methods at the top level; where, of course, he has never
succeeded.

Instead, after a tackle from a Leeds
player, I heard him shout out to one of his team: ‘Next time break his
legs,’ referring to Gary Kelly.

I asked him to leave the technical
area, and he was suspended from the touchline for three games, two of
which would be his first in the Barclays Premier League.

Regular: Warnock would remonstrate with officials when things went against him. Here, as QPR manager during their match against Middlesbrough in 2010

Regular: Warnock would remonstrate with officials when things went against him. Here, as QPR manager during their match against Middlesbrough in 2010

Seriously An as Sheffield United manager after a match against Reading in 2005

Seriously An as Sheffield United manager after a match against Reading in 2005

A friend of mine is a Leeds fan and
went up to Elland Road for the game against Millwall. He and his son
could only laugh at Warnock’s antics that day.

And this is the point.
Warnock became a pitied parody of his former self — referees appeared to
allow his tantrums to go unchecked as they became less and less
effective.

The once-feared bully, who
successfully led teams to play-off glories, had become more like a badly
behaved child in a supermarket. Observers walked past shaking their
heads in disbelief at the sad spectacle.

It has become patently clear in his
later career that the aggressive and outdated approach to management
simply didn’t work in the top flight. Indeed, his powers seem to have
been on the wane for some time, with Leeds’ mid-table position only
serving to disguise the precarious position of the club from which he
has walked away.

Spoilt: Poll is glad Warnock's antics will not be a part of the game any longer

Spoilt: Poll is glad Warnock's antics will not be a part of the game any longer

Referees, fans and — most importantly — footballers just didn’t react in the same way to his smart-alec persona.

Back in April 2003 after that
semi-final defeat, Warnock came into my dressing room to have his
customary complaint; he came into referees’ rooms after virtually every
game.

He ended his tirade by stating to
fourth official Alan Wiley and me that he looked forward to retirement
as he would no longer have to put up with officials like us.

The feeling was mutual, but both of
us retired well before our sell-by date expired. I wonder if, when
reflecting on what has been a successful managerial career, Warnock will
be able to say the same.

Wilfried Zaha can prove himself before he joins Manchester United, says Stuart Pearce

Zaha will show he can handle the big time ahead of United move, says Pearce

and has yet to score but Pearce is set to play him as a central striker in tonight’s friendly against Romania at Wycombe.

The past few months have been high pressure for Zaha. He made his senior England debut in Sweden, joined Manchester United for 15million, was loaned straight back to Palace and earlier this week he was banned for one game by the FA after making an offensive gesture to Leeds supporters.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Supported: Stuart Pearce is confident Wilfried Zaha can impress

Pearce, though, has no concerns about Zaha’s mental strength and is expecting him to play a significant role at Euro 2013.

‘We asked Wilf to play centre forward
(against Sweden) last month rather than his natural wide position and we
might do on that again,’ said Pearce. ‘I have to bear in mind that a
lot has happened to Wilf in a short space of time.

‘He’s still one of the younger boys
and will be involved in the next qualification campaign. I’m delighted
with how he’s come in, he seems happy.

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

Under pressure Zaha's profile has grown considerably this season

ENGLAND UNDER 21 v ROMANIA

ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Butland; Smith, Dawson, Wisdom, Bennett: Henderson, Shelvey: Sterling, Lansbury, Townsend: Zaha.

Kick-off: 7pm, Adams Park

Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)

TV: LIVE on ESPN from 6.30pm

'I’m seeing the same kid as I did a
couple of months ago. I think Wilf is one of those nice easy going lads
and not much worries him.

‘That’s the impression I get. We see
exactly the same in him as his football.

'Whether he’s gone to United or
stayed at Palace I’ll view him as the same player that’s learning,
maturing and will get better and better.’

It is likely Pearce will play a strong
team tonight and that will include Danny Rose, who will win his first
cap since being sent-off during the Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia
in October; the Sunderland defender was also subjected to horrific
racial abuse that evening.

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

Centre forward Pearce says Zaha may have to play through the middle

‘What went on in Serbia had nothing to
do with me not picking Danny,’ said Pearce. ‘I just needed to look at a
couple of others. He is suspended for the first game of the
Championship so we’ll have to start with another left back.

‘But he’s too important to me to leave
him out (this summer) for one game. We have Tom Ince missing the first
game, too, but the only way I’d leave someone out is if they were
suspended for all three group games.

'We are playing to win, so I’m
planning to play five games.’

VIDEO: RAHEEM STERLING SCORES TWO WONDER GOALS IN ENGLAND U21S TRAINING

Wilfried Zaha will have FA hearing after he and Ian Holloway admit charges

Zaha set for FA showdown while Holloway hit with 2k fine after both admit charges

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 15 March 2013

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway and attacker Wilfried Zaha have both admitted FA charges for improper conduct.

Zaha, who is on loan from Manchester United after signing for them in January, gave Leeds fans the middle finger during their clash on March 9.

He has requested a personal hearing, while Holloway is hit with a 2,000 fine because of his misconduct towards match officials during the same game.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Zaha, who had been suffering abuse
from Leeds fans before the incident, was ticked off by Man United for
his behaviour during the 2-2 draw.

He admitted on Twitter that he should have behaved better, telling his followers 'it was very unprofessional of me'.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was
given a one-match ban, fined 20,000 and warned as to his future conduct
after a similar gesture aimed at Fulham fans back in December.

Wilfried Zaha and Ian Holloway charged by FA following Leeds clash

Zaha charged for flashing middle finger at Leeds fans… as Holloway joins him in dock

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

16:14 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 12 March 2013

Wilfried Zaha has been charged by the FA following his gesture towards at Leeds fans last weekend.

The Crystal Palace star was being
berated by fans in Palace's 2-2 Championship draw with Leeds on March 9, and
responded by grinning and sticking up his middle finger.

Palace have been hit with a double
charge in relation to the same game after manager Ian Holloway was also
hit by the FA following his alleged misconduct towards match officials.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United

Zaha has already
apologised for swearing at Leeds supporters after they gave him abuse
for his impending transfer to Manchester United.

Both Zaha and Holloway have until 4pm on Friday March 15 to respond to the charge.

Zaha posted on his Twitter profile: 'On
that note I also wanted to apologise for the gesture I did towards the
Leeds fans in yesterday's game. Very unprofessional from me.'

United fans took to Twitter to praise their new signing, saying he was 'getting into practice'.

Whether Sir Alex Ferguson would approve of this gesture is another matter entirely.

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds defender Lee Peltier

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds defender Lee Peltier

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Harry Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose Southampton relegation clash even if Tony Bennett is there

'I won't turn up even if Tony Bennett's there!' Redknapp will have birthday blues if QPR lose relegation clash

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

13:16 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 1 March 2013

Harry Redknapp has told his wife Sandra not to bother putting on any birthday celebrations if QPR lose at Southampton on Saturday.

Redknapp turns 66 on Saturday and shares a birthday with his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, who will be 41.

A win for either manager will be huge in the race to avoid relegation, but is more important to QPR who are already seven points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

Scroll down to sing along with Harry

Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

Birthday blues: Harry Redknapp won't celebrate his 66th birthday if his QPR side lose to Southampton

And Redknapp, who enjoyed an early piece of birthday cake in his pre-match press conference, said: 'My whole weekend revolves around the match.

'To be honest my wife could make arrangements tomorrow night to bring Tony Bennett, who I absolutely love, over and I wouldn't turn up if we got beat.

'I'm no use to anybody. My whole weekend will revolve around how the game goes tomorrow. I'll be no use to anybody if it doesn't go well.

'She wouldn't even bother to arrange anything if I come home and it hasn't gone well. It wouldn't be worth me bothering.'

He recalled a birthday evening in Birmingham in 1997 with his wife that followed a 1-0 loss to Leeds when he was West Ham manager. ‘

'We booked a lovely restaurant,' Redknapp remembered. 'She said it was the most miserable night of her life. I can’t help myself, it’s pathetic really.

'Mark, my other son, was there with his girlfriend. She must have thought: “what a barrel of fun he is!” Like that geezer off the TV, Victor Meldrew. I can’t snap out of it, I can’t help it.'

Redknapp
has been warned he faces a torrent of abuse from Southampton fans when
he returns to St Mary's for the first time since he left the club to
return to bitter rivals Portsmouth.

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 - and on his birthday, too

Hoping for a happy return: Redknapp goes back to Southampton for the first time since taking them down in 2005 – and on his birthday, too

He added: 'I'll get a bit of grief but what can you do It's no problem. They're not bad people, Southampton supporters. They're good supporters.

'They'll give me a bit of grief but that's life. I won't lose any sleep over it, the only thing I'll lose sleep over is if the result is bad.'

The two managers may share a birthday, but they are at different ends of the managerial timeline.

Redknapp has managed six different clubs, is creeping towards the end and has almost 30 years in management to draw on to keep QPR up.

Pochettino is at only his second club and heading into his fifth year as a manager. But when asked if he would rather be more experienced, or heading freshly into the managerial game like his counterpart, Redknapp replied: ‘No, I’ d rather be 25 years younger, although only if my missus was 25 years younger.

‘I’d love to be coming into management now at 35 or 36, starting out at Bournemouth again. I feel great. The heart is good and there is no problem. I feel well and not like I am 66.

‘I don’t think I act like a 66-yearold. I feel about 30. I feel fantastic and not any different.’

If Redknapp pulls off a remarkable escape and keeps QPR up, he could have us all repeating Meldrew’s famous catchphrase: ‘I don’t believe it.’

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Crooner: Redknapp would ditch birthday celebrations even if favourite singer Tony Bennett was to appear

Not even if Tony Bennett is there! Redknapp won't vows no party…

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Reading owner"s wife: Katsia Zingarevich royal beauty perks up club"s relegation scrap

Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013

Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.

Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.

Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.

The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.

He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.

'Going
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.

'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.

Katsia

katsia

Katsia

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”

Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.

But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.

'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.

'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.

'Every
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”

Brian
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.

'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.

'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.

'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'

Robbie Rogers, once of Leeds, comes out as gay and retires aged 25

Former Leeds winger Rogers comes out but announces his retirement aged just 25

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:42 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 15 February 2013

Former Leeds United winger Robbie Rogers has written a blog in which he comes out as openly gay and retires from the game.

The 25-year-old, who was released by Leeds in the summer and joined Stevenage on loan, becomes the first professional footballer in Britain to come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

He also played for America 18 times, including all three of their games at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Breaking new ground: Robbie Rogers, shown playing for Columbus Crew, has released a blog in which he comes out as openly gay, though confirms his retirement from football aged just 25

Breaking new ground: Robbie Rogers, shown playing for Columbus Crew, has released a blog in which he comes out as openly gay, though confirms his retirement from football aged just 25

Pedigree: Rogers has played for USA

Pedigree: Rogers has played for USA

In a blog entitled ‘The Next Chapter’,
Rogers writes: ‘Things are never what they seem. My whole life I have
felt different. To overcome your fears you must be strong and have faith
in your purpose.

‘For the past 25 year I have been
afraid to show who I really was because of fear that judgment and
rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations. Fear that
my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret.

‘Life is only complete when your loved
ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who
and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone. Gone is the
pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding
questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.

‘Secrets can cause so much internal
damage. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay.
Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose
for you even though you were taught differently.

‘I always thought I could hide this
secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my
secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always
be thankful for my career.’

Rogers is from Southern California and
has more than 75,000 followers because of his profile playing for
Columbus Crew in America’s Major League Soccer.

He finishes his blog with: ‘I will
remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates. I will
never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that
supported me once they knew my secret.

‘Now is my time to step away. It’s
time to discover myself away from football. It’s 1 A.M. in London as I
write this and I could not be happier with my decision.

'Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest.

'Honesty is a bitch but makes life so
simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and
live my life as my creator intended.’

Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Curtis Main secures victory for Tony Mowbray"s side

Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Main is Boro's hero as fans turn on Warnock

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:03 GMT, 13 February 2013

A boy signed on a free transfer from Darlington proved to be Middlesbrough's Main man.

Curtis Main's perfectly placed header eight minutes from time gave Middlesbrough their first win in six League games and their first victory on Teesside over Leeds in 21 years.

But the 20-year-old, who scored for the second game running since recovering from injury, was sent off by petty referee Keith Stroud in the dying minutes.

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Main was booked twice, for encroaching and handball, and looked as astonished as his manager.

Mowbray said: 'The ref got it wrong.
It was not deliberate handball in a million years. Curtis has amazing
qualities and yet is such a young player who hasn't been educated.

But he is potentially a special
talent. Tonight he is disappointed, frustrated, annoyed and angry but he
got us a great winner.'

Leeds fans chanted 'Warnock, time to
go' at boss Neil Warnock, who reacted with sarcastic applause. He is
refusing to quit and blamed the defeat on his strikers following Luciano
Becchio's departure to Norwich.

Ross McCormack fluffed Leeds's best
chance and Warnock said: 'We have missed three open goals in three games
and all hell breaks loose. 'Unless I run on the pitch and put the
chances in I don't know what more I can do.'

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Rhys Williams should have put
Middlesbrough in front with a fourth-minute back-post volley after a
Grant Leadbitter free-kick put him clear, but Leeds started to take
control after that.

David Norris hit wide and then warmed
the palms of Jason Steele after some neat interplay between McCormack and Steve Morison, while the in-form Luke Varney also drove
away from goal after cutting in from the left.

The home side managed to steady themselves somewhat after that, but were so nearly the architects of their own downfall 28 minutes in.

Paul Green played a hopeful long ball forward that was Steele's all day long but he got his feet wrong and slipped, leaving McCormack with an open goal six yards out. The Scotland international dallied, though, and when he got a shot away, Jonathan Woodgate had recovered sufficiently to deny his former club on the line.

That proved to be Leeds' last chance of the first half and they should have been behind by the time the interval came.

Although not as clear a chance as McCormack's, Faris Haroun got clean through in injury time off Josh McEachran's defence-splitting pass, but Paddy Kenny was quickly off his line to deny him on the edge of the area.

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

The first half had hardly been an end-to-end affair but it was in comparison to the start of the second, which was attritional at best.

Woodgate provided the best moment, showing impressive pace and awareness to block off McCormack's run to goal, but as has often been the case in the 33-year-old's career, injury forced him off midway through the half.

Leadbitter, the game's other class act, then curled an edge-of-the-box free-kick just wide of Kenny's right-hand post and that brought about a mini period of drama with Leeds forced to defend for their lives with 17 minutes left.

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Kenny did well to deny Leadbitter down to his right and then combined with Sam Byram to deny Williams on the follow-up, with the keeper then darting across his line to pouch a McEachran header that should have been a forgone conclusion.

Boro seemed keen to take the initiative, though, and by bringing on Miller they took it. With nine minutes left his cross hung enough for Main to put a header back across Kenny's goal and into the top right-hand corner.

He was then dismissed by Keith Stroud for a combination of dissent and kicking the ball away but, even though Steele had to deny Habib Habibou, Boro were able to hold on without him.

Roberto Mancini vows to make Manchester City changes

If you're not willing to fight, then you're out! Mancini fires warning to City players after losing ground on United

By
Martin Ziegler, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:08 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 11 February 2013

Roberto Mancini is ready to wield the axe on his Manchester City squad and has warned his players he will only pick those who are ready to fight every inch of the way for the rest of the season.

Mancini was furious at the limp manner of City's 3-1 defeat at Southampton at the weekend which now leaves the reigning champions 12 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League with 12 games left.

Mancini said he will make significant changes for the FA Cup fifth-round visit of Leeds on Sunday.

Thumbs up: Roberto Mancini put his disappointment to one side whilst watching Sampdoria take on Roma yesterday

Thumbs up: Roberto Mancini put his disappointment to one side whilst watching Sampdoria take on Roma

He told the Manchester Evening News: 'I am sure we will change that, because I will change players next week.

'I only want players who are ready for the fight in the last 12 games.

'I am very angry with a lot of my players, and very disappointed at the performance, because it is impossible to play the way we did.

Down (and out): Manchester City are now 12 points adrift of United in the race for the Premier League title

Down (and out): Manchester City are now 12 points adrift of United in the race for the Premier League title

'We didn't fight for every ball. We can't always win by playing well – that is normal. Sometimes we play well and win, but you also need to be able to win because you fight for every ball, and fight against an opponent who also wants to win the game.

'Every team that plays against us treats it like a Champions League final, but we should know this, it is normal.

'We now have 12 games left, (we) need to do well in the Premier League, and we have the FA Cup – there are games left and we can do better. We need to finish the season the way we did last year.'

Blow: Joe Hart conceded three goals as City were soundly beaten by Southampton on Saturday

Blow: Joe Hart conceded three goals as City were soundly beaten by Southampton on Saturday

Carlos Tevez is expected to return to City this week after a family problem, and Vincent Kompany should also be available again, as will Matija Nastasic and Kolo Toure who were not risked after late returns from international duty.

Mancini branded the fixture demands caused by the international fixtures 'ridiculous' but did not hold his defenders – including midfielder Javi Garcia in a makeshift centre-back role – responsible for the Southampton defeat.

He added: 'The fixtures are ridiculous sometimes, as we played on Saturday and then had six players who came back on Friday, and five who came back Thursday night.

'Sometimes it is impossible. 'Nastasic came back Friday and Kolo came back three or four days ago – plus the last time Javi Garcia played there, he played really, really well.

'On Saturday we played well in defence, but the problem was that we didn't give the defenders any help. They were left to play alone, and we conceded two goals the like of which I have never seen in my life.'

Alex McLeish"s position at Nottingham forest under threat

EXCLUSIVE: McLeish's position at Forest under threat after bust-up with Kuwaiti owners

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 January 2013

Alex McLeish’s position at Nottingham Forest is unclear following a bust-up with the club’s new owners over transfer funds.

The former Scotland manager has had a row with the Kuwaiti owners of the east Midlands club after a tense five weeks since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Matters have been bubbling under ever since O’Driscoll’s sacking with chief executive Mark Arthur, head of player recruitment Keith Burt and Forest ambassador Frank Clark all being asked to leave.

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

After 14 years of service to Forest, Arthur was handed a letter informing him of his cessation of duties and Burt found out he was being axed after his wife read out a similar missive from the club while he was hosting a scouts’ meeting.

Forest were taken over by the Al-Hasawi family last summer and McLeish was appointed in bizarre circumstances after O’Driscoll was sacked following a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on Boxing Day, a victory which left Forest just one point from the play-offs.

McLeish was promised a significant kitty to use during the transfer window. However, the club’s technical advisor Dr Tariq Aljalahmah, has held a series of meetings this week with several key figures including McLeish and the remaining members of the club’s scouting team.

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

The Scot was told that the club was reticent to sanction any cash deals, with Forest preferring instead to do business in the loan market.

McLeish stood his ground, asking for the money that he believed he was getting after agreeing to take on the job late last month.

The matter had been left in abeyance but some progress looked to have been made last night as Forest mounted a bid to swipe Peterborough United’s George Boyd from under Crystal Palace’s noses.