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Boost for Swansea City as Wilfried Bony set to return from injury – football news

Wilfried Bony is close to a return for Championship side Swansea City after rupturing his cruciate ligament in February, the club confirmed.

The 29-year-old has not featured for the Swans since they relegated from the Premier League in May owing to the injury he suffered in their 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

Prior to the setback, the former Manchester City forward made 18 appearances across all competitions for the Liberty Stadium outfit scoring three goals last season.

However, on Tuesday, his manager Graham Potter explained that the attacker will return to training with the rest of the squad on Thursday as they prepare for their clash against Aston Villa on Saturday.

“Wilfried will join the group for part of the session on Thursday,” Potter told club website.

“He has been working hard with the medical staff and he will be involved in some of what we do.

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“We will have to see how he adapts to that and how he responds to the football load, but he has put in a lot of work to get to this point.”

Swansea are 11th in the league log with 17 points from 12 games after four wins, five draws and three losses.

 

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Villa boss Smith: Humble Terry showed up early for with his pencil case ready! – football news

Hiring John Terry was a move that “made sense”, according to new Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, who added that the ex-England defender impressed in his first day on the job.

The former Chelsea star was hired as Smith’s assistant last week as the former Brentford boss replaced Steve Bruce as Villa manager.

Terry played for Villa last season, captaining the club through his first and only campaign away from Chelsea before retiring on October 8 following links to a number of clubs all over Europe.

With the veteran defender now moving into management after ending his playing career, Smith said he had the final call on hiring Terry, and the manager found it to be an easy decision.

“When I discussed the role, I said if I speak to John I think we can both come up with good enough honest answers to see if we both want to move on with it or not,” Smith said on Monday.

“We decided it was right and I felt it was win-win. We had a good discussion and got the answers we both wanted.

“John is very humble and he’s a willing learner. He was in bright and early at 7:30 am with his pencil case at the ready.

“I’m quite flattered that he’s chosen to work with us to get his coaching hours in. I have no doubts John Terry will be a fantastic coach and go on to be a fantastic manager but he’s well aware that this is his apprenticeship.”

Smith went on to stress Terry’s importance the group as a link between the new manager and a dressing room the former defender was a key part of just last season.

“It made sense to have another coach. John has a wealth of experience and has played at the top level,” Smith said.

“He’s always been interested in coaching. He knows the football club, he knows the dressing room and he knows the expectations.

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“It was good to get out on the grass with them today. It’s a good fit.”

Smith, Terry and Villa do have an uphill climb, though, as the club currently sits 15th in the Championship through 12 matches.

Next up for the club is a match against Swansea City on Saturday, Smith’s first in charge of the club.

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Thierry Henry holds talks with Aston Villa over vacant manager job – football news

Aston Villa have held talks with Thierry Henry as they look to bring in a new manager to replace sacked Steve Bruce, GBP Sports can confirm.

Bruce had led the Championship side to the promotion play-offs in the 2017-18 season, eventually losing to Fulham in the final, but a rapid dip in form in the new term forced the Birmingham club into action.

One particularly disgruntled supporter threw a cabbage at Bruce in his final match in charge, a 3-3 draw with Preston North End after relinquishing a two-goal lead.

Operating in much the same way as he did during talks to take over at Bordeaux, Henry has been seeking assurances over his influence over transfers and player budget should he take over at Villa Park.

The Frenchman will need guarantees from the Villans, however, with the former Arsenal and Barcelona striker having turned down the Bordeaux role due to financial reasons.

Joe DaGrosa, head of GACP, Bordeaux’s owners, told L’Equipe at the time: “We had hoped to reach an agreement with Thierry Henry, but sometimes reasonable people can disagree. That’s what happened. I have a lot of respect for him. 

Thierry Henry Bordeaux

“He was a great player and he has a very interesting career plan, but we took a financial decision and not an emotional one.”

John Terry, who most recently turned out for Villa before failing to secure a move to another club, announced his retirement from playing football on Sunday and has been mooted as Henry’s assistant.

There are no certainties over whether Terry will be offered the role, though the former Chelsea captain has made no secret of his desire to turn his hand to coaching.

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Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers, who had come under some scrutiny following Celtic’s poor start to the season, has ruled himself out of the running for the job.

In terms of Henry’s current role as assistant coach of the Belgium national team, it is understood that the FA will not stand in the 41-year-old’s way if he decided to take Villa up on their offer.

As yet, however, the country’s governing body have not received a formal approach from the Championship side.

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Rodgers rules himself out of battle with Henry for Aston Villa job – football news

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has ruled himself out of the running for a vacant managerial post at Aston Villa.

The Northern Irishman is among those to have been mooted as a possible target for the Championship club following their decision to part with Steve Bruce.

Arsenal icon Thierry Henry and Chelsea legend John Terry have been mentioned as other candidates, with it possible that they could work together, and they have seen the path cleared in front of them.

Rodgers, who has previously spent time with Swansea and Liverpool, has no desire to leave his position in Scotland, even for a role at an ambitious side eyeing up a return to the Premier League.

He told BBC Scotland after overseeing a 6-0 victory for his current employers over St. Johnstone: “I’m the Celtic manager and I love it and have lots of challenges here.

“There is always speculation around lots of names.

“Villa is a top Premier League club in the Championship and I’m sure with their support base and resources they will try and get back there as quickly as they can.”

Rodgers recently admitted to having received several offers to leave Celtic during his reign at Parkhead.

He has never entered into any talks, with a lucrative approach from China among those to have been knocked back.

“Since I have been at Celtic I have had a few offers, ” Rodgers said in September amid an uncharacteristically slow start starting to the 2018-19 campaign for the Hoops.

“So [China] is no different to any of the others.

“My focus is very much on Celtic, trying to help us rise to the challenge of this season.

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“What you know with China is it’s an awful lot of money, big money, but I have found happiness here. I spoke to the owners of the club and the board and we find an agreement and move on.

“I have had other opportunities but I am very much here, I have this year and two more years on my contract.

“Unless they get fed up with me or something else happens I am very privileged to be here.”

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Kodjia, Abraham, Bolasie on target in Aston Villa’s draw against Preston North End – football news

Jonathan Kodjia, Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie scored a goal each as Aston Villa were held to a dramatic 3-3 draw by Preston North End.

Steve Bruce’s side registered their second consecutive stalemate in the Championship days a similar outcome against Bristol City.

Kodjia gave the hosts a promising start at the Villa Park with his 26th-minute opener followed by Abraham’s effort that doubled the lead eight minutes before half-time.

After the restart, Preston North End staged a dramatic comeback and took the lead in the 86th minute but substitute Bolasie who replaced Kodjia in the 74th minute, was able to rescue a point for his team. 

Glenn Whelan misplaced a last-gasp penalty that could have handed the Villans their fourth league win of the season.

Bolasie and Abraham have scored two goals each in five games since their temporary arrival from Everton and Chelsea respectively while Kodjia extended his tally to four goals in 12 league games.

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Egypt’s Ahmed El Mohamady was in action for the full 90 minutes while Ghana’s Albert Adomah was an unused substitute.

Aston Villa climbed to the 12th spot in the Championship log with 15 points from 11 games. They visit Millwall for their next game on Saturday.

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Aston Villa boss Bruce pelted with cabbage as sack looms – football news

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce confirmed that a disgruntled fan took aim at him with a cabbage as his team continue to struggle in the Championship. 

A 3-3 draw with Preston means that the Birmingham side are rooted in mid-table, heightening tensions around Villa Park. 

Reports suggest that a bad result in Villa’s next outing could see the ex-Manchester United defender lose his job during October’s international break. 

One disgruntled fan even made his feelings felt by hurling the leafy green at Bruce, who did not see the funny side of the attack. 

“To say it’s disappointing is an understatement for a club like this,” Bruce told reporters.

“It was before we had even started too.

“I find the whole thing hugely disrespectful. Unfortunately, it sums up the society we are in at the moment. There’s no respect for anyone.

“Certainly for someone like the bloke who is being questioned… I’m surprised he knew what a cabbage was.”

Observers on social media, however, took the incident with rather more humour, with a Twitter account dedicated to the Aston Villa Cabbage appearing minutes later. 

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The offending brassica, meanwhile, was impounded at Villa Park, with club officials yet to confirm its fate – perhaps a healthy alternative for Wednesday’s lunch?

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Aston Villa coach Bruce hail Abraham, Bolasie after goalscoring home debuts – football news

Aston Villa coach Steve Bruce has heaped praises on Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie after the duo scored on their home debuts to hand the hosts a 2-0 victory over Rotherham United.

After making an eventful bow at Ewood Park over the weekend, Abraham opened his Villa account just before the half-hour mark to give his side the lead.

“I’m sure he’ll be delighted with the goal,” Bruce said after the game.

“It’s the first time he’s played back-to-back games since last December.

“He can only get better; he’s a very, very good young player. Hopefully, he’s got a bright future here.”

The Chelsea loanee started the game partnering Jonathan Kodija in attack, with Villa star Jack Grealish behind the African duo.

The strikers showed a glimpse of their threat against Blackburn Rovers after the Cote d’Ivoire international’s second-half introduction, but playing together from the start on Tuesday, it was in full effect as Kodija’s flick set the 20-year-old up for his maiden Villa goal.

Speaking on a burgeoning partnership, Bruce said: “Tammy has Kodjia and Grealish to one side, Bolasie, El Ghazi and Adomah all in and around him, too.

“We’ve got a threat at the top end of the pitch.

“John McGinn had another good evening, as did Conor Hourihane, who’s forced his way back into the team. That’s how quickly it can change.

“They can all rest easy that they performed well.”

Nine minutes after coming on, Bolasie wrapped up the scoring at Villa Park.

The Everton loanee, who has had injuries plaque his progress, directed a bullet header past Rotherham’s goalkeeper Marek Rodak off an Ahmed Elmohamady cross.

Despite still being ‘a little short’ in terms of fitness, Bruce looks to having him for a ‘big part’ as the season progresses.

“As a substitute for half an hour, he’s shown just how good he can be.

“Fitness-wise, he’s still a little short. But we’ll build him up with half an hour here, 45 minutes there.

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“We’ve got a long, gruelling winter ahead. We’ve only just started and he’ll have a big part to play.”

Next up for Aston Villa is a visit from Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

 

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Tammy Abraham, Yannick Bolasie set for Aston Villa debuts – football news

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has confirmed that Tammy Abraham will make his debut in Saturday’s English Championship clash against Blackburn Rovers, with Yannick Bolasie also set to ‘be involved’ at Ewood Park.

The 20-year-old has yet to make an appearance for the Villians since sealing a season-long loan move from Chelsea, and Bruce thinks, after scoring for the England U21s as they beat Latvia U21s during the international break, the striker is fired up for weekend’s game.

On another loan signing, Bolasie – who joined from Everton – the English tactician said, despite being ‘a bit early’ in terms of fitness, the winger will still play a part.

“Tammy will play,” Bruce said at a pre-match conference. “He scored in the international break which can only help him. He’s a very good player. We are delighted to have him here.

“It was a touch and go for a long time. But patience was worth it in the end. All summer I was thinking ‘can we get him?’ In the end, we got him with five minutes to play.

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“I think it’s still a bit early for Yannick but he will be involved. We will look ahead to Tuesday and Saturday and see where we are with that.”

With main man Jonathan Kodija enjoying a new lease of life, it is yet to be seen how Bruce play him alongside Abraham who was an instant hit in his lone season [2016-17] in the English second-tier with Bristol  City.

Bruce will bank on their firepowers to ensure they halt their five-game winless run which has seen them drop to 12th place in the log, with nine points from six matches.

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Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock blames transfer deadline on Tammy Abraham miss – football news

Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock has reflected on their disappointing futile chase of Chelsea starlet Tammy Abraham whom he believes ended up at Aston Villa because of the early Premier League transfer window closure.

Abraham, after sealing a season-long loan move to Villa, admitted to have snubbed ‘a lot of teams’ having been assured of regular playing time at Stamford Bridge.

But the 20-year-old was not involved in any of the opening games under Maurizio Sarri and had to seek other options.

And with the Premier League transfer deadline already closed, Warnock’s plan was flawed and a move to the Championship was the most feasible for the young striker.

“I wanted Tammy Abraham from day one. I spoke to Eddie Newton about it, but he ended up at Aston Villa”, Warnock told Standard Sport.

“I was really disappointed they didn’t even come back to me. I thought I at least deserved a phone call saying ‘sorry Neil, he’s not joining’.

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“It might have been because our deadline was three weeks before the Championship’s.

“Perhaps they weren’t sure at the time and then he ends up leaving at the end of the month, when only a move to a Championship club is possible.”

On Saturday, Abraham will hope to make his Aston Villa debut against Blackburn Rovers in a Championship game while Warnock’s side face his parent club, Chelsea in the top-flight.

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‘Chelsea told me I would play!’ – Abraham explains why he snubbed ‘a lot of teams’ – football news

Tammy Abraham claims to have snubbed “a lot of teams” before joining Aston Villa on loan because Chelsea had assured him he would see regular game time this season.

The England international headed for the exits at Stamford Bridge on the deadline day for Football League deals after seeing his path blocked in west London.

He had returned to his parent club over the summer looking to make a positive impact after impressing with Swansea in 2017-18 – with those efforts earning him senior recognition with the Three Lions.

It quickly became apparent, though, that Maurizio Sarri would not be giving him as many minutes as he had hoped, with a last-minute move required after turning down interest from across Europe.

Abraham told Villa’s official website: “It started off from the end of last season where Chelsea did say I’d be involved in their team and squad.

“That’s the reason why I said no to a lot of teams that came from abroad and the Premier League as well, but towards the end, I found that I need to play games and need to play football, and looking at a team like Aston Villa, who I believe should be in the Premier League, it’s a great chance for me to come out and showcase myself here.

“It’s a situation where I want to be in a team where I believe strongly in the team and just be in a good environment enjoying myself again.

“Hopefully that can be this place and I can take them to the Premier League.”

Abraham has also revealed that England U21 team-mate Jack Grealish and Chelsea legend John Terry – who spent the 2017-18 campaign with Villa – helped to talk him into a move to the Championship club.

The 20-year-old frontman added: “I’ve had players like Jack Grealish who have been messaging me every day telling me to come.

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“It’s nice to have someone that you know here. It helped make up my mind a couple of days ago.

“John Terry was also one of the first people to call me about the move. He said what a great place it was and how much he loved his time here. 

“He said how much I’d like the manager and the players. I believe him and I’ve already enjoyed my first afternoon in and around the place.”

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