Harry Redknapp insists he has still to see Tom Huddlestone's alleged stamp on Johan Elmander, the Bolton Wanderers striker, which could land the midfielder with a charge from the English Football Association(FA). If it is confirmed that Chris Hoy, the referee, did not spot the challenge, the FA will examine video footage and decide whether to charge Huddlestone with violent conduct. "I'm going to say something that you probably don't even believe: I never even saw it - and I still haven't seen it," Redknapp, whose side host Sunderland tonight, said yesterday. Television pictures appear to show Huddlestone's left foot making contact with Elmander's chest.
Darren Bent could be sidelined for several weeks by the hamstring injury which kept him out of Sunderland's 2-0 victory over Stoke City on Saturday. The England international striker picked up the problem in training on Friday, and is highly unlikely to be involved in tonight's trip to his former club Tottenham.
Tony Pulis, Stoke's manager, has called for the system under which referees are currently assessed to be overhauled in the wake of Saturday's defeat against Sunderland. Even with tonight's match against Birmingham City looming, Pulis's mind was on events at the Stadium of Light, where his team were denied a penalty for a handball on the line by Lee Cattermole. "It cannot be right that these decisions consistently go on without being addressed," Pulis told Sky Sports News. "We've had decisions that have been absolutely abysmal but we have just got on with things. There comes a point where you have to stand up and say, 'This is not right'. I have to say the treatment this football club has had with respect to the decisions has been appalling."
Mario Balotelli will miss tomorrow's Manchester derby after accepting his red card against West Bromwich Albion, but Manchester City have lodged an appeal against the automatic three-match ban. The Italian striker, 20, was given a straight red card for violent conduct after clashing with Youssouf Mulumbu. City are now appealing against the three-match ban but accept the red card - he had already been booked - meaning he will miss the chance of facing Manchester United. The claim will be heard by the FA's independent regulatory commission today.
Gerard Houllier, the Aston Villa manager, is to hold talks with John Carew, the striker, after being on the receiving end of a weekend outburst from the Norway international. Carew accused Houllier in an interview in his native country of being disrespectful after being challenged to prove he deserved a new contract. Houllier responded by saying Carew was "stupid" and to stop "living in the past". Carew is already sidelined for a month with a torn calf muscle suffered in training, but it remains to be seen whether his outburst will mean the end of his Villa career. Houllier confirmed: "I shall be speaking to him, of course."
Marcus Hahnemann, the Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, has intimated he could end his career in his native United States. Hahnemann's contract at Wolves expires in the summer. "I'll see what the team and what the family want to do," Hahnemann, 38, said. "Initially when I came to England, the thought was that I'd go back eventually and play in Major League Soccer so who knows? Seattle has a team now, Seattle is my home town and my first pro team was the Seattle Sounders."