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England lucky to have top keeper in Joe Hart - Forster

Fraser Forster says Joe Hart is one of Europe's best keepers. Credit: PA

Southampton's Fraser Forster admits England are "lucky" to have one of Europe's best goalkeepers in Joe Hart - even if that puts an even bigger barrier in the way of his own international hopes.

The Manchester City stopper is Roy Hodgson's undisputed number one and, barring injury or suspension during Euro 2016, Forster and Burnley's Tom Heaton are both destined for a watching brief in France.

Hodgson is due to name his final 23 for the tournament on Tuesday, but as the only goalkeepers in contention, all three know they will be included and Forster suggests England will have one of the continent's finest shot-stoppers at their disposal in Hart.

He's obviously a fantastic keeper and I think he is showing year in, year out, for Man City and England how good he is. He works really hard and it is obviously important as a group of keepers we pressure him and try to catch him up, but he has been fantastic how he has played in some of the Champions League games this year, making big saves in big moments.

For me he is a top keeper in Europe. You look how good his distribution is, how good his shot-stopping is and how he makes big saves at big moments and we are very lucky to have him.

You have to be ready because as a keeper you never know. The perfect example of that was in Germany when Jack (Butland) got injured. You just have to train as hard as you can and be ready in case that moment comes along.

That won't be an issue for me. You're used to being number one at your club and that is how we train and it is just important we approach it and you are ready in case.

– Fraser Forster


Wales boss Coleman praying Ledley makes Euro 2016

Chris Coleman is hoping Joe Ledley is fit for Wales' Euro 2016 squad Credit: PA

Joe Ledley will discover whether his Euro 2016 fitness fight has proved successful when Wales manager Chris Coleman names his 23-man squad for the finals on Tuesday.

Ledley fractured his left leg playing for Crystal Palace on May 7 and his hopes of playing in France next month seemed over.

But the 62-times capped midfielder joined Wales on their pre-Euros training camp in Portugal last week and was running freely in individual fitness sessions away from the main group.

Wales start their Euro 2016 campaign against Slovakia on June 11 before playing England five days later, and Ledley is expected to miss both those games.

But Coleman has said he will select Ledley if the 29-year-old can show he will be ready for Wales' final group game against Russia in Toulouse on June 20.

I know my 23 now and the big one is Joe. It's just about time length. We are hoping and praying there will be good news.

It's all on those first three games for us, we can't really think beyond that. I've got a duty to the squad of players to consider how we give ourselves the best possible chance of getting out of that group.

That's a conversation I will have with Joe and the medical team. We will look at his chances of playing in those three games and work off that. We are going to have a choice. Can we wait a little longer or are we going to run out of time?

It's so disappointing for Joe that we are in this position, thinking 'can he or can't he?' He has done as much as anyone to get us there and he's important to us on the pitch and off the pitch.

– Chris Coleman

Battle for places motivating England squad - Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne says England's players are motivated by competition for places Credit: PA

England defender Nathaniel Clyne insists the squad are relishing the competition for places ahead of Euro 2016.

The Liverpool right-back played 90 minutes in the 2-1 friendly win over Australia at the Stadium of Light on Friday but knows he faces a battle with Tottenham's Kyle Walker for the first-choice spot at the tournament in France.

He believes his situation is one replicated throughout the squad and it provides a motivating factor for all, ahead of manager Roy Hodgson selecting his final 23 for the Euros on Tuesday.

Three players from the initial group need to be cut, with Fabian Delph already relegated to the standby list as a result of injury.

There are players fighting for positions all over the pitch when they get an opportunity to show what they can do and that is healthy. I think it is good as it keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everyone fighting for positions - everyone wants to be hungry and has a determination to get themselves into the squad.

Everyone is working hard in training and in matches to try to get into the team. Unfortunately there will be three people dropping out but the competition is healthy.

It will be sad for the players to be told they will not be going with the squad but there are a lot of players who also didn't get picked. But England have a strong team and hopefully they can do well at the tournament.

– Nathaniel Clyne

I don't know if I'll stay at promoted Hull - Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce is unsure whether he'll remain at Hull City in the Premier League Credit: PA

Steve Bruce led Hull back to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs on Saturday, the fourth promotion of his career, but admits he remains unsure whether he'll still be in place as manager next season.

Amid his own uncertainty, however, he is far more clear over the direction Hull should be taking as they bid to establish themselves as a top-flight club over a longer term, having been relegated in both 2010 and 2015.

Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth have achieved relative stability in the top division and that is what Bruce wants Hull to pursue.

It's always going to be difficult for us because of where we are (geographically). We try to attract the (best players) but we are never going to be the biggest payers, and it's difficult to try and get people to come to us, even if we have the money. So there is a long road ahead.

Teams like Bournemouth, Swansea, West Brom, we have to emulate the teams who have been in and around (the Premier League) for a few years.

I don't know if I am staying myself yet.

I'll have a conversation like I said I would at the end of the season, like I've done for the last two years. I've got to make sure that we're equipped. I still haven't 100 per cent decided. I'll have a chat with my family and we'll see.

– Steve Bruce


Stoke chairman Coates wants cap on agents fees

Stoke chairman Peter Coates wants a cap on Premier League agents fees Credit: PA

Stoke chairman Peter Coates wants a Premier League cap on agents fees but admits he is fighting a losing battle.

Recent figures showed clubs paid a total of £46.5 million to agents between last October and February, with Stoke's £1.75m figure the eighth-highest of the 20 sides in England's top flight.

Manchester United paid £10m, the highest, while Everton were lowest with less than £0.5m paid out to agents.

Coates told the Stoke Sentinel that change was needed, but unlikely, due to the lengths clubs would go to gain an advantage over rivals.

I wish we did it better but it doesn't look as though there's anything in sight. I'd like to have an agreement among all clubs about how much agents got paid, so a percentage or whatever, but we can't reach an agreement.

It's a big chunk of money they get and that's going out of the game, but there's no change in sight.

You'd have to get the clubs to agree and that can be difficult because they want to be flexible to do their own thing and believe the less interference the better. Partly because it's so competitive and we are all trying to get an edge on our competitors.

– Peter Coates

Jose Mourinho will be a success at Man United - Terry

John Terry says Jose Mourinho will be a success at Manchester United Credit: PA

John Terry has backed his former boss Jose Mourinho to be a success at Manchester United this season and suggests the fight between the new Premier League managers will be great for English top-flight football.

The former Chelsea manager was appointed this week as the successor to Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, while Antonio Conte takes over at Stamford Bridge after UEFA Euro 2016 and joins a host of new managerial faces in England.

Pep Guardiola will pitch up at Manchester City this summer, while the likes of Leicester City, Liverpool and West Ham United all brought in new managers at the start of, or during, last season, and Terry thinks the battle of minds on the sidelines will make for intriguing viewing in the new campaign.

It's fantastic news for Man United. I'm sure the Man United fans and players will be delighted with (Jose Mourinho's appointment) it. I've said many times before, he's the best manager I've worked under and a real delight.

It's a shame the way he finished at Chelsea this year but I wish him well because he's a great manager and a great man as well, he'll be great for Manchester United I'm sure.

I think it's great for English football, not only what Leicester achieved last year with Claudio Ranieri coming in, Jose and Pep Guardiola up in Manchester, Conte coming to Chelsea as well, there's a real fight among the managers.

I think it's going to be interesting, not only for football in general but also for the Premier League.

– John Terry
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