Quick Hits

16th February 2011

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has rubbished rumours that central defensive duo Roger Johnson and Scott Dann are unhappy at St. Andrews.

Big ‘Eck was responding to reports that the defenders at the heart of the Blues backline are unhappy at the boards unwillingness to discuss new contracts with them.

Dann and Johnson – Blues Defensive Duo

However, McLeish says that these reports are “laughable.”

“I’ve got a great dressing room – It’s news to me unless they’re talking behind my back” said McLeish.

“I haven’t seen Scott Dann for about three or four weeks because we’ve given him some time off to recuperate from his injury, so he’s in the sun somewhere.

“There’s nothing in it. It’s not the best time to talk about contracts and I think the players agree with that.

“I’m sure they’d love us to say ‘here’s another X amount per week and we’ll sign you for another two years’ but it’s not appropriate at this moment in time and the players accepted that. No unrest, absolutely not.”

Joey Barton

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle United manager, has praised midfielder Joey Barton after his performance in last night’s 2-0 win over Birmingham City.

“We are getting the best of Joey Barton probably at anytime in his career” said Pardew.

“For me, and I can only take someone as I find them, Joey has been superb.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Jody Craddock, who has been missing for much of the current campaign through injury, says that Wolves need to start beating sides around them to ensure Premier League safety – starting with their fiercest rivals, West Bromwich Albion, on Sunday.

Jody Craddock

“It’s so tight down there that we need to beat the teams around us to get above them – It’s as simple as that” said Craddock.

“It’s frustrating that we’ve gone on to beat Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United but are still bottom of the table.

“We’ve just got to look at those games and take all of the positives into every game we’ve got left.”

And finally, Roberto Mancini is confident that Manchester City will still progress into the next round of the Europa League despite yesterdays stalemate with Aris Salonika in Greece.

“I think it will be a different game in Manchester,” said Mancini after the first-leg, last-32 clash.

I should hope so, because yesterday’s match was dull beyond recognition.

About AA_Richards

Football writer & all-round pen for hire. Can tiki-taka or counter-attack at pace. Differentiates Athletic from Atletico. Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/AA_Richards
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