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Burley Denies Nielsen Interest
Burley Denies Nielsen Interest
Thursday, 8th Feb 2001 08:32

Town manager George Burley has said he has made no approach for AB Copenhagen international Brian Steen Nielsen. Yesterday reports suggested that the 32-year-old might be a target, but this always seemed unlikely.

Burley said: "We have not had any talks with this player". Which seems pretty conclusive.

Meanwhile we understand there may be some movement on the transfer front tomorrow, possibly relating to the signing of Bryan Hughes from Birmingham. With George Burley away in Spain with the first team squad until last night and David Sheepshanks in America a deal earlier this week was unlikely.

Town are thought to have made an enquiry for the Birmingham midfielder and been quoted £3 million. It is unlikely that we would pay as much as that for him, but a £2 million-ish plus extras deal might not be too far from an acceptable fee.

Birmingham have already bought Curtis Woodhouse to play in Hughes's favoured central midfield role and it seems only a matter of time before he leaves St Andrew's. He is widely considered the best footballer at Birmingham, but that he doesn't really fit into their style of play. Like Jermaine Wright it is thought he would do better in the Premiership than he might in the First Division.

Young Manchester United midfielder Stephen Cosgrove may line-up for the reserves this evening if the paperwork is complete. Yesterday news emerged that Town wanted to take the 20-year-old Scot on trial with a view to buying him.

Also in the reserves for tonight's match at home to Watford (KO 7pm) are Wayne Brown and Richard Naylor. Brown's inclusion suggests that Town may start with Titus Bramble and Mark Venus as the only centre-halves on Saturday at Arsenal. With Hermann Hreidarsson and John Scales out injured and John McGreal suspended it was thought that Brown might make his first start of the season.

Richard Naylor will have another reserve game to get him up to match fitness after his leg break. Nabil Abidallah will be out to impress and must feel he is a whisker away from a full appearance after winning a place on the bench recently. Amir Karic may also think that an impressive performance might get him into the first team given the current situation with injuries.

Also included are promising youngsters Darren Bent and Matt Bloomfield, both of whom have impressed as subs in the reserves this season.

Town squad: Salmon, Artun, Nicholls, Miller, Brown, Karic, Cosgrove, Abidallah, Naylor, Midgley, Friars, Bloomfield, Pullen, Snowdon, Westlake, Ambrose and Bent.

Town's FA Youth Cup replay with Sheffield United is likely to be next Monday night (7pm) at Bramall Lane. The Town youngsters drew 1-1 on Tuesday night when the Blades scored an equaliser deep into unexpected very legnthy injury time.

The Academy sides are due to play Norwich City at home (U19s, 11am KO) and Coventry City away (U17s 2pm KO) this weekend. These games may face postponement given the closeness of the FA Youth Cup match.

Jim Magilton is geting back to full fitness after his hamstring injury and now looks likely to be back for Saturday's game at Arsenal. Definitely out are Hermann Hreidarsson (hamstring), Fabian Wilnis (hamstring), John Scales (hamstring) and John McGreal Hamsr...er suspended).

With Wayne Brown likely to start in tonight's reserve game it looks like Town will start 4-4-2 with Venus and Bramble the centre-halves. Gary Croft looks likely to continue replacing Wilnis at right back with Magilton coming into the midfield either for James Scowcroft or Jermaine Wright.

George Burley may prefer to keep Wright in the midfield after his excellent performance against Leeds and as he has better defensive qualities that Scowcroft.

A possibility might be that Scowcroft moves up front with Marcus Stewart as Alun Armstrong hasn't been at his best in the last couple of games.

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