x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

No regrets over Crouch

Manager Roy Hodgson has said Bobby Zamora's fine form has ensured Fulham have no regrets about failing to sign Peter Crouch this summer.

Manager Roy Hodgson has said Bobby Zamora's fine form has ensured Fulham have no regrets about failing to sign Peter Crouch this summer. Zamora, 28, scored his 10th goal of the season in last Saturday's 3-0 win over Manchester United and has been a revelation in recent weeks. "I don't wish we had signed Crouch because luckily Bobby Zamora has come up trumps and has played so well," said Hodgson. "Crouch had the chance to join Fulham or Tottenham and he chose them. That meant we were able to keep Bobby. With Bobby playing well it's not something we've missed. "When Bobby was on his way to Hull, as was being mooted at the time, it would have been much more problematic for us. Peter made his decision and we're pleased he's doing well but we've survived with the players we have." Fulham v Tottenham, 5pm, Showsports 4

Portsmouth midfielder Hayden Mullins has said avoiding relegation from the Premier League would be a bigger achievement for his side than West Ham's great escape in 2007. Mullins helped the East Londoners claim a shock 1-0 triumph at Manchester United on the final day of the 2006/07 season, which secured their spot in the top flight. He swapped Upton Park for Fratton Park at the end of January, but the 30-year-old midfielder has been plunged back into trouble. He said: "It has been a crazy year. We've had all the money problems off the pitch, a lot of people leaving and we started with 14 players. It's something I haven't seen in my career to date. If we come through it, it will be a massive achievement. I thought I'd left all those problems behind when I left West Ham but this has been a bigger scare." West Ham v Portsmouth, 5pm, Showsports Extra

Burnley manager Owen Coyle has many happy memories from his playing days at Bolton but those will all be forgotten when his former club visit Turf Moor today. The Scot had a spell with Wanderers between 1993 and 1995 and admits he had a "fantastic" time. But with the situation so tight in the Premier League table - five points separate 12th from bottom - there is no place for sentimentality, not even at Christmas. "I enjoy any game that we go and represent the club, play to our maximum and win three points," said Coyle. "The Boxing Day game presents that opportunity against a club very close to my heart. I had a lot of fantastic times at Bolton and loved every minute. The team I played in was an exciting one which gained promotion to the Premier League and had tremendous cup runs. They were great times, really happy days, but my focus is on Burnley." Burnley v Bolton, 6pm, Show Comedy Extra

Everton deserve to be near the bottom of the Premier League, according to their manager. The Toffees are currently 15h in the table, just two points above the relegation zone. "By this time, the league has taken shape and we have an idea of where clubs will be," said David Moyes. "You will get someone making a push at the top, and someone down at the bottom. We have to make sure that is us because we are too near the trap-door for comfort at the moment. "Our form has improved, the points tally has not. But draws against Spurs and Chelsea have certainly lifted the confidence, and we played well enough to have beaten Birmingham who are on a good run at the moment. I am frustrated with the results of late, but performances have improved." Sunderland v Everton, 7pm, Showsports 4

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is determined to strengthen his squad in all areas when the transfer window reopens next week. Martinez, who arrived in the summer from Swansea, wants a deeper pool to call on in a bid to move into the top half of the table after a run of just one win from seven games. Martinez said: "We are looking for players in every position during the window. I have been delighted with the attitude and approach of my players. We just need extra numbers and an extra bit of competition. Should we get injuries and suspensions it could leave us exposed and we do not want that to happen. "We are looking forward to the second half of the season, knowing we need to turn things around." Wigan v Blackburn, 7pm, Show Series Extra

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has no sympathy for Rafael Benitez as he looks to add to the Liverpool manager's problems at Anfield today. With the Reds struggling to mount a top-four challenge this season, Wolves could heap even more pressure on Benitez if they can pull off a shock victory, which would be their fourth in five games. McCarthy said: "I can't remember ever receiving sympathy from anyone. So I don't expect any and I don't give any out either. I never subscribe to the theory that because a team is having a bad time that run will continue. At some stage they have to get out of that run and I have no doubt they will see Wolves coming as an opportunity. They will know they will still be expected to win and when you are not playing that great and you are not full of confidence it does add to the pressure." Liverpool v Wolverhampton, 9.30pm, Showsports 1 & 2 sports@thenational.ae