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Leicester City too quiet – Sven-Goran Eriksson – BBC Sport

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Leicester City too quiet – Sven-Goran Eriksson
BBC Sport
Leicester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson says his side are the quietest he has ever known on-the-field during his time in management.
Michael Morrison,Leicester City,Sheffield WednesdayLeicester Mercury

all 7 news articles »

Leicester too silent – Eriksson

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Leicester manager Sven-Goran Eriksson says his side are the quietest he has known during his time in management.

Leicester City,2010,Blue Army – Leicester Mercury

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Leicester City,2010,Blue Army
Leicester Mercury
The year has seen three different managers in office, 39 players make first-team appearances and has even seen the club change ownership.
Paul Gallagher says Leicester City are ready for Premier LeagueLeicester Mercury

all 2 news articles »

Michael Morrison,Leicester City,Sheffield Wednesday – Leicester Mercury

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Michael Morrison,Leicester City,Sheffield Wednesday
Leicester Mercury
Sven-Goran Eriksson has said that Sheffield Wednesday have expressed an interest in Michael Morrison. Owls manager Alan Irvine has revealed

and more »

Hinckley United hoping to return to action

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Hinckley United are hoping the latest freeze to hit the country will delay its arrival so they can play only their second game in six long weeks on Monday.

Corby Town are the visitors to the Greene King Stadium (3.0) and the Northamptonshire side have endured an even longer break, having not played since a 2-1 FA Trophy defeat by Telford on November 20.

Temperatures are expected to struggle to get above freezing at game-time but Knitters boss Dean Thomas is hopeful of some action against a Corby side who signed half of Hinckley’s starting XI, including favourites Richard Lavery and Neil Cartwright, in the summer.

Thomas said: “Enough frost has come out of the ground in the last few days to give us a good chance of playing and it is a massive game for both sides.

“We need the points and the funds coming through the gates. It also sees our old players coming back to play against us. Those same players may feel like they have a point to prove as well.”

One of that group, midfielder Andy Gooding, has returned to Hinckley on loan and Thomas is also trying to extend the loan deal of midfielder Sam Belcher from Wycombe until the end of the season.

“We are just waiting to hear from them to see whether they are okay about Sam staying with us and it is good to have Andy back,” said Thomas.

“We have 12 games in six weeks coming up and we need to have more depth in the squad, especially with Gavin Strachan’s injury problems.”

One player who will not be making an appearance against Corby is goalkeeper Danny Haystead who has joined Boston United.

The 24-year-old’s decision to leave has left Thomas disappointed.

“I know Boston have ambitions but I took Danny from a league below to come here and gave him a chance,” he said.

“I have signed a 23-year-old from Corby called Nathan Thackeray as his replacement but he cannot play against his former team so 18-year-old Denham Hinds will start on Monday.”

Despite Corby’s spending power, it has not bought them the lofty league position they were hoping for and they travel to Hinckley with just one win from their last seven games and are 10th in the Blue Square North table.

Hinckley, meanwhile, are still near the wrong end of the table but won their last league game at Stafford 3-1 on November 13.

Back injury brings early end to Chris Kirkland’s loan spell at Leicester City

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Chris Kirkland’s loan spell at Leicester City has been cut short because of injury.

City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has ruled out another move for the goalkeeper until his persistent back problem has been cleared.

Eriksson said he would like to take the Barwell-born keeper for a second spell but he described it as too big a risk until the 29-year-old had fully recovered from the back injury that plagued his loan spell at the Walkers Stadium.

Kirkland was set to make his debut against Nottingham Forest at the end of November.

But a back spasm in training delayed his debut until City travelled to Ipswich Town on December 18.

He played again on Boxing Day against Leeds United but then had to be substituted at half-time two days later at Millwall and returned to parent club Wigan Athletic for treatment.

“Kirkland has gone back and he is not available,” said Eriksson. “It is the end of his loan now.

“I think so (another loan) but before that I think he has to finally cure his back problem, because it is too big a risk.

“He has been unlucky and we have been unlucky with him, and I feel sorry for him.”

Despite the recruitment of Kirkland, which indicated he was keen to strengthen his goalkeeping options, Eriksson said getting another keeper in during the transfer window was not a priority.

City have been linked with a bid to get Shay Given on loan from Manchester City, but Eriksson said he was happy with regular No.1 Chris Weale.

“I think Weale does very well for us every time he plays,” said Eriksson.

“A new goalkeeper will not be the first thing I will be asking for.”

Meanwhile, Eriksson has said he has been trying to contact Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier to discuss the future of central defender Curtis Davies.

Davies, who will miss tomorrow’s trip to face Hull City with a knee injury, is set to return to Villa when his loan expires after Monday’s visit of Swansea City to the Walkers Stadium. Eriksson wants to discuss an extension of the deal, but said he had been unable to contact Houllier.

“I really don’t know whether Aston Villa want him back or not,” said Eriksson.

“I have tried to reach Gerrard Houllier for a couple of days but had no luck.

“Curtis is not available for travel tomorrow and nothing will happen about his future until after January 1.

“His knee injury is not too bad. The day after he did it the physio told me he would probably miss two games, and he has missed Leeds and Millwall, so I hope he will be back for Swansea because that is the last game he is currently available for us.”

Some worries – but look on the bright side

Friday, December 31st, 2010

On January 16 this year, I went to Swansea. It rained incessantly and we lost.

On January 23, I went to Cardiff. It was freezing and we lost. On January 26, I went to Barnsley. It was a Tuesday night, it was freezing and we lost.

We had just one game left in the first month of 2010.

Thankfully, it was a home game and the visitors were Newcastle United.

Packed full of proven Premier League quality, the Magpies were in the process of romping to the league title and they were expected to steam-roller a badly off-form Leicester City side.

I felt immense pride that night in the way our boys, playing with 10 men for an hour, battled for every ball as if their lives depended on it.

That we earned a point was a great achievement. That we could well have taken all three was testament to the almost peerless work-rate and belief of Nigel Pearson’s City side.

With a wealth of promising youngsters acting as key figures in the starting line-up, the future looked bright.

And so, despite the broken jaw Matty Fryatt suffered in the following game against Doncaster, City finished the campaign strongly and it was back to Cardiff for the third time in the season to attempt to win a place at Wembley.

We went so close.

There were many iconic images from the finale of that unforgettable night in South Wales – Martyn Waghorn face down on the turf, Andy King clenching the badge on his shirt as if it meant the world to him, Steve Howard and Jack Hobbs walking off the pitch with their arms around each others’ shoulders, the old and new of Leicester City standing together.

A summer of uncertainty followed. Why would Pearson want to join Hull? Who were the Far Eastern investors? Would Waghorn return on a permanent basis? I didn’t like it. I like stability, certainty, pride and optimism.

Admittedly, I also really wanted Paulo Sousa to succeed.

The idea of City being known for playing attractive, attacking football was an enticing one.

I was born well after the Jimmy Bloomfield years and I wanted some sense of what it was like to support a side that entertained.

The first 45 minutes of the season were certainly eventful, but not in a good way. Crystal Palace could hardly believe their luck as three goals sailed past Chris Weale in the first half of the opening game.

A humiliating defeat at Fratton Park was the final straw for many City fans as far as the Sousa reign was concerned.

It would have been ludicrous to even imagine the current state of affairs back in the early months of the year, when Pearson was arguably one of the most popular managers City have had.

The situation worries me slightly. Those promising youngsters, with the exception of King, have been largely consigned to the bench and we could lose three of our first-choice back-four next month.

But let’s end on a happy note with my favourite Leicester City moments of 2010 .

Firstly, there was King’s goal against Forest in February, scored so quickly after Paul Gallagher’s excellent free-kick that it was like celebrating two goals at once.

Then there was Bruno Berner’s winner at Crystal Palace in March.

Lastly, King’s goal at Preston in April to confirm our place in the play-offs.

Hopefully, 2011 will provide even more memorable moments to reflect upon this time next year.

Sheffield Wednesday may move for Leicester City’s Michael Morrison

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Sven-Goran Eriksson has said that Sheffield Wednesday have expressed an interest in Michael Morrison.

Owls manager Alan Irvine has revealed that new Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric has been in touch with his former club to check the availability of the 22-year-old, who has struggled to break into the City first team this season.

City manager Eriksson said he believed Morrison would be interested in joining the League One side.

However, with both Curtis Davies and Miguel Vitor ruled out for of trip to Hull tomorrow because of injury, Morrison is set to partner Jack Hobbs at the heart of the City defence.

“I believe they have been in touch, but he is travelling with us tomorrow,” said Eriksson.

“I would guess he wants to leave because he has played very little.

“I understand that because he is young and, when you are young, you want to play football.

“You don’t want to sit on the bench or be left out altogether, so it is understandable.”

Irvine said Mandaric, who stood down as City chairman to take over at Hillsborough recently, had been in touch with City, but he was unsure whether a deal could be done.

There have been some reports Irvine has tabled a £250,000 bid.

“He’s someone we have inquired about, one of many,” said Irvine.

“We haven’t been in any discussions with any players or agents at this stage. We’re simply trying to find out who we might be able to get.

“They didn’t say they weren’t interested. They didn’t say either that they would do a deal.

“Obviously, Milan has a very good relationship with the people at Leicester. As a result of that, he’s had a few chats with the people there. It’s not dead and it’s not something I can say is definitely going to happen.

“Leicester are probably one of the clubs who are going to be quite active in the January window.

“It will be a case of keeping an eye on that, as no doubt a lot of managers will be doing, to see who might be surplus to requirements.”

With the uncertainty over whether Davies will stay when his loan expires after the visit of Swansea City to the Walkers Stadium on Monday, and Vitor’s hamstring injury, City are keen to recruit at least one centre-back in the transfer window and whether they release Morrison will depend on how successful they are.

City have been linked with a loan move for fit-again Spurs’ defender Jonathan Woodgate and Hibernian’s Sol Bamba.

Meanwhile, Eriksson dismissed reports that Martyn Waghorn was set to join Queens Park Rangers on loan, but Matty Fryatt’s £1.2 million move to Hull is close to completion.

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