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Samaras: I'm better now

Georgios Samaras has admitted he has grown up since being a big-money Manchester City flop.

I'm more mature now and know football better than when I was younger.

I had seven beautiful seasons at Celtic and I'll keep all those good things.

Now it's a new start and challenge in my career, and I'm looking forward to that.

As a professional footballer you want to get better and better and I believe I have changed from 22 to now, like anybody would in any job.

– West Brom striker Georgios Samaras speaking to the club's official website


Big Sam aims to end Palace hoodoo

Sam Allardyce is aiming to break West Ham's losing streak over Crystal Palace - but is expecting a tough challenge from a side still likely to play the 'Tony Pulis' way.

I think they have some better players than last season but they very much stick to the same type of structural organisation.

We didn't beat them last year and it will be just as difficult, if not more so, with the players they've brought in.

The new players have lots of Premier League experience and from that point of view we'll have a tough job.

There's still lots of excitement around the ground and the stadium, the players know their position now, they know what their job is.

– Sam Allardyce

Saints still a strong outfit - Irvine

Head coach Alan Irvine has warned West Brom that Southampton's summer fire sale has not torched the Saints' threat.

Having been at Anfield last Sunday and watched how well they played and watched how many chances they were able to create at a really difficult place I think they can more than survive.

I think they could have a very good season. They have spent the money very wisely and replaced very good players with very good players.

I was very impressed with how they played at Anfield. Not many teams go to Anfield and make it go quiet but that certainly happened during periods of the game.

They deserved something out of the game last week and I believe it will be a very tough place for teams to go this season.

– Alan Irvine
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