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Mangala backs Man City to shine against West Brom

Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala is confident the team will be ready for West Brom after some poor pre-season performances.

The Frenchman has been heavily criticised since moving to the Eithad, but is he hopeful the team will react for the start of the campaign.

Elaiquim Mangala knows how to underwhelm. Credit: PA

The Frenchman told the club's website, www.mcfc.co.uk: "I think what happened against Madrid and Stuttgart rang one or two alarm bells and maybe showed we have to change something and be aware, because we can't play the way we did in those two games against West Brom or we'll get punished.

"That's why they were valuable games for us, but the fact is that it is better to find out in pre-season friendlies than in the Premier League because the results are not as important.

"It also gives us an idea of the areas we need to work on and improve. Everything is focused on our first game against West Brom and by Monday, we'll be ready and focused."

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Bournemouth sign former Leeds winger

Max Gradel previously played in Ligue 1. Credit: PA

Bournemouth have signed winger Max Gradel from French side St Etienne, the Premier League club have confirmed.

The Ivorian has experience in England at Leeds and Leicester, as well as a loan spell wit the Cherries.

Gradel has penned a four-year deal with the Premier League newcomers.

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Bojan happy to be back for Stoke City

Bojan is back in action. Credit: PA

Stoke striker Bojan Krkic says his strength and confidence levels have returned following his first start in six months.

The Spaniard had been out of action since late January after picking up a serious knee injury during an FA Cup tie against Rochdale but he played over an hour of last weekend's Colonia Cup defeat to Porto.

I was happy to start and play over an hour, which was good for my fitness.

When you play, of course you want to win, but the most important thing about pre-season is improving your fitness.

I feel really good and every day I feel much stronger, more powerful and more confident and I am happy with that.

When you come back from a long time out, you need to play and take confidence and that is what I have achieved in the last two pre-season games.

– Bojan

Accrington rename ground the Wham Stadium

Accrington Stanley will now play at the Wham Stadium. Credit: PA

Accrington Stanley have signed a new sponsorship deal, which will see their ground renamed the Wham Stadium.

The League Two club will now be sponsored by 'What More UK Ltd', with partner company PlasticBoxShop's name will appearing on the team's shirts.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Accrington Stanley, ever since seeing the famous milk advert on TV when I was a kid, especially as my dad came from Liverpool!

It’s a historic and iconic club and when the opportunity came up for PlasticBoxShop to be the shirt sponsor I leapt at it. In supporting Accrington Stanley we feel that we have found a club that has come from humble beginnings like ourselves, but has ambitions to keep on growing and we plan to treble in size.

Over the next 3 years our ambition is to make PlasticBoxShop one of the UK’s best known brands.

– Gary Lyons, Managing Director of PlasticBoxShop
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