Troubled former England and Lazio midfielder Paul Gascoigne has received support from friends and former teammates following his recent relapse.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker admits he is struggling to see a positive outcome for his former England and Tottenham team-mate Gascoigne, writing on Twitter: “I can only hope he finds peace somehow, but fear those hopes may be forlorn.”
PFA chief Gordon taylor told BBC Radio 5live: “I think it is fair to say above all I don’t want him to be a tragedy so that everybody will say everybody should have done more.
“I would like, whilst he is living and we have still got a chance, for [Paul’s detox programme] to be a success story.”
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has issued a rallying cry to his teammates, claiming that the in-form Reds have what it takes to finish fourth.
After an indifferent start to the season, Brendan Rodgers’ boys have hit a rich vein of form for the seacond half of the season, as evidenced by their dominant, yet ultimately unsuccessful, display at Champions Manchester City last night.
Gerrard told website Football 365: “No disrespect to the sides we’ve got coming up but if we keep playing like that then we can certainly put in a challenge for fourth place.
“If we perform like that we will pick up a lot of points between now and the end of the season.”
The Daily Mirror reports that Rafa Benitez’s two-month reign at Chelsea is hanging by a thread.
Abramovich is allegedly furious at his club’s post-Christmas tailspin, and could add Benitez to the list of famous short managerial reigns.
The signing of Jack Butland by Stoke prompted many to suggest that in-demand ‘keeper Asmir Begovic would be leaving in the summer.
And Manchester United are at the head of the queue, according to The Daily Mirror, which claims that Sir Alex Ferguson really is set on replacing David de Gea at the end of the season.
Apparently Fergie has made Begovic ‘his top choice’ to replace De Gea, but he will have to pay £15 million for the 25-year-old.
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson rued his side’s rotten luck after they were made to pay at Fleetwood on Saturday.
After falling behind, City went 2-1 up through Nahki Wells and Ryan Dixon, and continued to press Fleetwood in the second half. However, despite numerous stonewall penalty calls at the other end that were not given, Fleetwood were rescued by the referees whistle after the ball was kicked into James Hanson’s arm. John PArkin duly dispatched the penalty.
The Bantams boss said: “I thought in the back end of the first half and the beginning of the second half we played a bit more on the front-foot.”
“They are a good team Fleetwood, but we had the 2-1 lead (in the second half) and I really fancied us to go on and get another one. I felt if another goal was going to come at the beginning of the second half, it was going to be from us.
“But unfortunately a contentious refereeing decision has cost us the three points, which is a real shame. It’s one of those calls which is just really harsh.
“We’ve had Nahki absolutely flattened in the box at one end and we’ve not received a penalty, you then go up the other end later in the half and the ball is stuck against our lad from no more than two yards away and we’ve got a penalty given against us. I just think it is a really harsh decision.”
Meanwhile, Rory Mcardle is in a race against time to be fit in time for the League Cup final with Swansea City in three weeks’ time after damaging ligaments in the Fleetwood clash.
Leeds United’s defeat to Cardiff City was made all the more bitter as the scorer of the winning goal was Huddersfield lad Frasier Campbell – who did not know whether or not to celebrate his goal.
The Huddersfield-born striker explained: “I’ve upset several of my family members – half of them are Leeds fans and half of them are Man United fans so half will be happy and half will be upset.
“There were loads of them here today scattered around the stadium but I’m just delighted to have made my debut and scored a goal though it was more important that we got another win under our belts.”
The £650,000 signing from Sunderland added: “It’s not an easy place to come and we knew Leeds would be up for it, having come off the back of a great FA Cup win against Tottenham. We dug in deep and got the result.”
Huddersfield Town continue to fall down the table after defeat to Derby County in the Championship.
First half goals from Craig Bryson and Jamie Ward put Derby in control and a Richard Keogh header just before the hour finished off Huddersfield who had skipper Peter Clarke taken to hospital for a precautionary scan after he suffered concussion.
Huddersfield caretaker boss Mark Lillis had no complaints about the defeat to one of his former clubs.
“Derby played very well and all credit to Nigel (Clough), he’s doing well and they looked like a top six team,” he said.
“It’s been a tough week for us and we caught them on a good day and they deserved the win. But there’s no lack of application or commitment on the pitch and I am proud of the players.”